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Designed to renew the reader's 
faith in the single, powerful 
idea of self-management 



FOR INDIVIDUALS ONLY 

ANSWER 

T0 CONFORMITY 

BY PERRY EPLER GRESHAM 



A man-made satellite encircles the earth . . . 
electronic discoveries make a towering im- 
pact on society . . . collectivism and con- 
formity have a firm grasp on all of us, 
molding public philosophy and subsequent 
destiny. This is a drastically different era 
from the time of our grandfathers or even 
our fathers. 

Has the complexity of our modern civi- 
lization made man cling desperately to the 
labor union, the corporation, the coterie, 
for his security? Does the robust, individual 
soul shun the lonely path of leadership to 
become an isolated pawn in a multisided 
game involving society, religion, politics, 
and economics? Are first-rate minds content 
with second-rate thoughts and performances 
as an outgrowth of this tragic trend toward 
conformity? 

In answer, Dr. Gresham gives a relent- 
lessly piercing translation of the present-day 
mood, bringing new dimensions to con- 
temporary cogitation. 

There is urgency and force in his sum- 
mons to acknowledge the infinite worth 
and sanctity of the unique human being as 
the answer to conformity. 

This series of 12 essays, on individual 
responsibility and independent judgment, 
was given as the Perkins' Lectures endowed 
by the J. J. Perkins family of Wichita Falls, 
Texas. 




ELECTION OF ^ 

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fcTH CAROLINA 
IISSIONARY CONVENTIONS 

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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
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http://archive.org/details/answertoconformiOOperr 



for 

individuals only — 

ANSWER 



CONFORMITY 



for 

individuals only — 

ANSWER 
TO 
CONFORMITY 



by 

PERRY EPLER GRESHAM 



THE BETHANY PRESS— ST. LOUIS, MO. 












Copyright © 1961 

by 

The Bethany Press 



Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 61-8603 



Distributed in Australia 

by the Austral Printing and Publishing Company, Melbourne 

and in Canada 

by The G. E. Welch Company, Toronto 



Manufactured in the United States of America 



INTRODUCTION 



Ars vivendi would be an obviously appropriate alternate title 
for this book. Out of a wealth of rewarding experience in prac- 
ticing the intricate art of living and in helping others to practice 
it, Dr. Gresham has distilled much wisdom in regard to both the 
basic principles and the specific techniques of this art. 

The title of his book points toward its fundamental thesis, 
which is that a person can manage his own life and that the 
first duty of everyone who wants to be a real person is to be 
an autonomous and responsible individual. Your parents may 
(or may not) leave you money. The government may, or under 
other circumstances it may not, provide for your social security. 
If you start work as an office boy, the firm may give comforting 
assurance of a generous pension plan when you retire at seventy. 
I gather that the author regards the thorough-going welfare 
state as furnishing for the individual a benevolvent but regret- 
table relief from some responsibilities that would be good for him. 

That, however, is only one angle from which the individual's 
individuality may be threatened. More insidious, and ultimately 
more dangerous, is the modern pressure toward conformity with 
patterns of thought and behavior which — nobody ever quite 
knows how — have become the accepted canons of sound opin- 
ions, good taste and proper conduct. When the groove has 
already been made and all one has to do is to get into it and 



stay in it, what does being a person really amount to? Or, dis- 
carding the figure of the groove, if heredity and environment, 
or predestination, or the inscrutable and unscrupulous determina- 
tions of a mysterious something called "destiny" govern both 
the course and the outcome of the individual's life, how much 
of a real person can a person be? "Not much," says Dr. Gresham. 
And so say I. 

But, says the author, this does not represent the human situa- 
tion. Every person can be the "manager" of his own life. He 
likes that word — manager. It fits the context admirably. A 
manager cannot do whatever he likes. He must operate within 
the framework of the possible and with due reference to his 
resources and responsibilities. His equipment does not include 
an Aladdin's lamp. But within that framework he can and 
must make the decisions that spell success or failure for the 
enterprise. This is a good analogy for every individual's freedom 
and responsibility for the control of his own life. So, if one should 
and must manage one's own life, the crucial question is, How 
shall one do it? The book aims to make some contribution to- 
ward answering that question. There is no magic formula, and 
the author does not oversimplify the problem. 

To say that living is an art is only to repeat what has been 
said many times during the last twenty centuries or more. I 
will add — what has perhaps not been said quite so often — that 
the art of living requires the same two elements that are neces- 
sary in the practice of any other art. The first of these can be 
variously described the creative impulse, the vision of an ideal, 
a feeling of the values that are involved both in the process and 
in the end that is to be attained by the creative effort. The second 
is the techniques and skills that are necessary in handling the 
materials through which the artist's ideal is to be realized and 
brought into concrete existence. The first is artistry; the second 
is craftsmanship. Craftsmanship is not art, but there is no art 
without it. The sculptor is not a mere stone-cutter; but unless 
he has the skill of hand and eye to draw and model and carve, 
he is not a sculptor. Great violin playing is more than digital 



dexterity; but it does not occur, however the artist's soul may 
be filled with music, unless he also has the technique that en- 
ables him to put his fingers in the right place at the right time. 

So in the art of living these two elements must be present. 
They are present in the author's concept of the rich and reward- 
ing life, which is a life of both service and satisfaction, and 
in his presentations of its highest values and of some of the 
necessary steps in attaining them in spite of all the false lures 
and the confusing pushes and pulls to which the individual is 
subjected while he is trying to manage his life for the realization 
of his best self. 

All who know Dr. Gresham know how well he is equipped 
to do what this book sets out to do, and to make his treatment 
of these vital themes serious without being solemn. His experi- 
ence as the pastor of three large churches, as a professor of 
philosophy, and now as the president of a college, and his close 
contacts with great numbers of people not directly connected 
with any of these enterprises, have given him a great fund of 
factual information about the ups and downs and the ins and 
outs of life under widely varying circumstances. My own as- 
sociation with him, through a friendship of many years and 
in the sharing of many experiences both at home and abroad, 
has revealed to me how competent a practitioner he is in the 
art of living. Let us turn the page and begin to enjoy the 
genial wisdom of one who is a master of the art about which 
he writes. 

Winfred E. Garrison 

The University of Houston, 
Houston, Texas. 



To all individualists 

but especially 

to those of the Perkins Lectures 

Mrs. J. J. Perkins 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Prothro 

Mr. J. S. Bridwell 



CONTENTS 



1. The Power of an Idea 11 

2. General Manager of Your Own Life 15 

3. An Unshakeable Faith 28 

4. The Discipline of Emotions 44 

5. With the Whole Mind 79 

6. Good Fruits from Evil Roots 94 

7. Eat, Sleep, and Be Happy 105 

8. The Time of Your Life 121 

9. Within my Earthly Temple 132 

10. Blundering into Bliss 145 

11. Laughter and the Love of Friends 162 

12. Beyond the Shadows 178 



THE POWER 
OF AN IDEA 



An idea in the mind of Henry Ford put America on wheels 
in the black automobiles his company developed; another idea 
transformed Pittsburgh from one of the dirtiest cities in America 
to one of the cleanest. Even the discovery of America was the 
consequence of a little, ephemeral idea in the mind of a Genoese 
sailor; and an idea launched the "Mayflower." Indeed, every 
achievement in history is the fruition of dominant and compel- 
ling ideas. 

The public philosophy is a shared idea which controls the 
destiny of a civilization. Hence much of American colonial his- 
tory can be subsumed under the trilogy of "honesty, frugality, 
and industry," a set of Puritan virtues commonly held and widely 
practiced. Honesty was interpreted to mean "keep your word" 
and "pay your debts"; frugality required the early Americans 
to "save for a rainy day" something of every dollar earned. 
Hand-to-mouth living met with public disapproval; and, con- 
versely, community prestige was related to a person's ability to 
provide for himself and his family, including the contingencies 
of illness and age. In that era when a man's aged parents still 
were his responsibility, the spendthrift or ne'er-do-well faced 
effective social censure. "Industry" referred to a willingness to 
work. Instead of shorter hours and limited accomplishment, a 
man competed with pride to see how much he could do in a day. 



11 



Therefore he or she who could plow the most, spin the most, pro- 
duce the most — providing the quality was equally high — was 
most honored. Excellence of achievement in the nascent period of 
American history derives in part from this public philosophy 
which motivated the pioneers, whose ideals of society were 
"built-in." 

The trilogy for post-Revolutionary America was "invention, 
expansion, and production." The cotton gin and the steamboat 
were only the beginning of an amazing technical advance in al- 
most every phase of life. The rotary printing press, the telephone, 
the telegraph, the typewriter, and other inventions in the field 
of communications profoundly changed society. Radio and tele- 
vision changed it even more. Likewise railroads, automobiles, and 
airlines revolutionized transportation. And each of these inven- 
tions was but an idea put into practice. 

In the post-Revolution era, expansion was the order of the 
day as covered wagons rolled westward over the "woods and 
templed hills" of Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Ten- 
nessee, Texas, and other states. The sound of "Oh, Susannah," 
heard by the campfire at night on the vast prairie land of the 
Mississippi Valley, heralded the growth of the Southland. In the 
North, factories were expanding along the rivers and lakes, and 
the slogan, "Go West, young man," was a national mood as 
America was gathered up in a land-boom psychology. 

The idea of production was definitely a part of the public 
philosophy with each person feeling compelled to produce more 
corn, more livestock, more cotton and wheat, more vehicles, more 
implements, more railroads, more houses, more utensils, and 
more children. In that age of individualism and competition, suc- 
cess was defined in terms of ability to produce, and the demand 
for goods and services seemed endless. The mentality which 
dominated the period was that of the entrepreneur, who be- 
lieved that more and better mousetraps were a moral obligation 
as well as a means to riches and fame. 

Today's public philosophy appears to be "security, consump- 
tion, and conformity." The unsettled nature of the second half of 



12 



the century seems to have deepened the interest in security which 
the wars and depressions of the former half inspired. This idea 
of security has formed the vast labor unions with their drive for 
guaranteed annual wages, pensions, higher pay, and fewer work- 
ing hours. The same idea has brought on legislation for social 
security and various welfare programs including national state 
responsibility for health, education, and other social services. A 
drive for more corporate profits is a concomitant expression of 
the same desire. Similarly, interest in military security has lifted 
the national budget to colossal proportions. Today's young peo- 
ple leave college with more interest in security than in freedom 
to develop, expand, and produce in their various vocations. Ad- 
vertisers and politicians, recognizing the contemporary anxieties, 
tailor their appeals to the interest of the security-conscious people. 

From childhood on, the young person of today is a consumer. 
He begins by choosing one breakfast food over another on the 
basis of the appeal of the video screen in mass advertising or 
by preference on the basis of the toy contained in the package. 
As he grows older, he is a consumer shopping around for com- 
panions, activities, amusements, and schools to attend; he has 
his favorite tunes, heroes, styles, and cars. Even the young voter 
is a consumer, picking his candidate on the basis of sincerity, 
appeal, popularity, promises, and appearance. To the genera- 
tion coming of age in America, the old attitudes of a production 
age are inappropriate. 

Probably the most powerful aspect of the contemporary 
public philosophy is conformity. The young person cares more 
for the approval of his group than for the approval of his 
parents. The influence of the union, the association, the group 
at the club, the fraternity, or the gang is out of proportion to 
its objective importance for a life. Each person aspires to con- 
form to the norms of the particular fellowship to which he 
belongs. He likes the support of his colleagues in the same 
corporation or coterie, shunning the lonely way of individual 
leadership and independent judgment. This is the age of group- 
ness. 



13 



The time is ripe for the re-emergence of a powerful idea as a 
frame of reference for organizing and controlling one's life. 
Inescapable responsibility for the management of one's own 
life is just such an idea as gives an effective answer to con- 
formity. Such a basic idea can resist the overweening interest 
in security and consumption. A powerful idea with basic appeal 
to both social and individual interests can lay hold of the human 
mind and emotions until it will become a genuine public phi- 
losophy. 

Every human being has been appointed by Almighty God to 
be the manager of his own life. He cannot evade or delegate 
this responsibility. He may try to shun the decisions by follow- 
ing the herd or depending upon someone else, but the final fact 
remains that he must answer to God in terms of individual 
responsibility for what he has done with his life. Since God 
does not require the impossible, it is reasonable to assume that 
life can be managed. Since the question is raised, however, it 
must be answered. 



14 



GENERAL MANAGER 
OF YOUR OWN LIFE 



In the face of tragedy, failure, disappointment, illness, grief, 
or loneliness one tends to ask himself if a person can manage 
his own life. When he has vibrant health and abounding energy 
available for the performance of some task, he is dead certain 
of his complete control over his destiny. In the face of frustra- 
tion, however, he is aware of vast overwhelming forces which 
are completely beyond his control. Illness, for example, seems 
like some nemesis completely other than himself that comes to 
harm him; death walks in, uninvited. This natural termination 
to the life span of every organism seems such a baleful marauder 
that man has personified him as "the grim reaper" or "the 
last enemy." Thus one vacillates between the yes and no when 
asked sincerely, "Can life be managed?" 

Many social theorists, philosophers, and theologians, as well 
as thoughtful persons less intellectually disciplined and exact, 
testify to the impossibility of managing one's life; all so-called 
deterministic philosophies are such a denial. To begin with, 
economic determinism of communist theory holds free human 
choice to be finally specious. Karl Marx, expounding the doc- 
trine that decisions, preferences, habits, and reactions are 
dependent on one's drive for economic security and advantage, 
believed history is to be understood in terms of the human 
quest for food, goods, and the affairs of well-being which are 



15 



called economic. According to Marxian theory, while a person 
might imagine himself to be self-determinative, he is actually 
under the necessity of economic influences. 

A much more subtle exposition of a social doctrine which 
denies free choice is called "cultural determinism." According to 
this view a person is what he is and behaves as he does because 
of the cultural context in which he has developed. Each person 
is the product of his environment with customs, practices, 
taboos, superstitions and beliefs etched on his nascent person- 
ality in such a way that his life is a miniature of the culture. 
Cultural determinists believe it futile to expect a person to 
manage his life inasmuch as the influence of past experience 
directs his behavior as a river bed channels its fluid content. 
A person does the only thing he can do in the light of his past. 
If one accepts such a theory, praise and blame have very little 
meaning. 

About a generation ago John B. Watson attracted wide at- 
tention with a theoretical denial of human freedom based on 
the conditioned reflexes of the nervous system. He was so con- 
fident that his psychological system explained all human be- 
havior that he said, "Give me the baby and I can make of him 
what you wish." Fortunately, nobody gave him the baby. While 
his laboratory experiments have been very rewarding, his for- 
mulation of them into a philosophy of life called "behaviorism" 
has convinced almost no one except those who use some 
rationalization to justify misdoings and failure. This utterly 
mechanistic interpretation made all art and literature, love, 
and patriotism a stimulus-response bond. At least one poet was 
impressed sufficiently to react with a verse in praise of glands 
and neurons, — 

No puppet master pulls the strings on high, 

Portioning our parts, the tinsel and the paint: 

A twisted nerve, a ganglion gone awry, 
Predestinates the sinner and the saint. 

— George Sylvester Viereck 1 



1 From Three Sphinxes and Other Poems, Little Blue Book No. 579. Used by per- 
mission of Haldeman- Julius Company, publishers. 



16 



But the protest from those who found the theory utterly inade- 
quate to explain the qualitative richness of life has been a 
tempest. Horace Bridges said, "A behaviorist is a philosopher 
who has made up his wind-pipe that he has no mind." It was a 
poet, however, who distilled the feeling of esthetes and religion- 
ists. Vachel Lindsay, who thought of his poetic mission as a sort 
of Johnny Appleseed for American song, wrote : 

There's machinery in the butterfly, 
There's a mainspring to the bee. 
There's hydraulics to a daisy 
And contraptions to a tree. 

If we could see the birdie 

That makes the chirping sound 

With psycho-analytic eyes 

With X-ray, scientific eyes, 

We could see the wheels go round. 

And I hope all men 

Who think like this 

Will soon lie underground. 

— Vachel lindsay 2 

There was a stubborn tendency to determinism in Freud, 
who, while he did not conceive man to be a machine, saw the 
individual as the complex victim of unconscious strivings, fears, 
and desires which dominated his existence. Freud's art of heal- 
ing distraught souls was based on the belief that childhood 
experiences were absolute in fashioning adult living. This rich 
and fruitful insight which has blessed all subsequent psycho- 
logical theory by the focus of attention on the early postnatal 
factors of personality development erred in the direction of 
oversimplification. His students have beheld the growth of a 
personality in terms of the banks of human experience as well 
as the stream. The quest for any single formula that will explain 
how a man ticks is certain to prove inadequate. Centuries ago 
Plutarch said, "Abstruse questions must have abstruse answers." 

2 Quoted in G. T. W. Patrick, Introduction to Philosophy (New York: Houghton 
Mifflin Co., 1924), p. 200. 

17 



A surprisingly large number of sensible people believe in 
magic; many individuals think there is such a thing as luck 
that brings them to either success or failure. A variety of such 
beliefs exists. The astrologers believe the stars tell us what we 
are and what will happen to us. According to an oft-quoted 
sentiment, "It is not in the cards for me to succeed," and many 
people abandon caution on the theory that they are perfectly 
secure until their "number is called." All such beliefs are varia- 
tions on the very ancient theme of magic. They are comparable 
to an ancient Greek watching the birds or examining the en- 
trails of an animal in order to decide what course he should 
take with reference to his nation or his own life. 

The religious doctrine of predestination effectually denies 
the principle of self-management. This venerable doctrine has 
appeared in almost every religion. The diverse doctrines usually 
say in one way or another, "God has already planned my life. 
The things I do simply fill in God's outline." While there is a 
sense in which God directs, controls, and determines human 
destiny, no one is thereby relieved of the responsibility of mak- 
ing wise choices. Even the most ardent advocates of predes- 
tinarian theology hold individuals responsible for their misbe- 
havior. The doctrine of original sin distributes the blame for 
misdoings in such a way as to put most of it back on God. 
G. K. Chesterton called the doctrine of original sin "too com- 
forting" because it relieved individual responsibility. The mis- 
fortune of such doctrines lies in the fact that gross inequalities 
are justified on the basis of God's preferences. A man who is 
a slave goes on being a slave because God intends him to be 
a slave. In the heyday of Calvinism many persons were held 
in unsatisfactory vocations or social positions on account of 
the belief that God so willed it. 

The perennial appeal of fatalistic theory lies in an all-too- 
human inclination to rationalize behavior. In the words of 
James Harvey Robinson, "We look for good reasons to evade 
the real reasons." When the struggle becomes overwhelming 
or when problems are too utterly baffling, the individual is 



18 



inclined to abdicate responsibility. This tendency is as old as 
the Garden of Eden. The penetrating psychological insight of 
the Genesis account illuminates the magnificent drama of man- 
kind. Adam and Eve were anxious and uneasy because the 
fruit of knowledge of good and evil was forbidden to them. 
Feeling inferior on account of one tree, they let the serpent 
beguile them with a plausible theory that questioned the mo- 
tives of their creator. As they looked on the tree which God 
had denied them, their desire became intense. The serpent 
urged and the woman yielded. After she tasted, she shared the 
ecstasy of the new delicacy with Adam who joined in the feast. 
Then they became fearful. They tried to run away and hide. 
Toward evening came the inevitable disclosure and the guilty 
couple began the process of self-justification that still goes on. 
Adam blamed his wife; Eve blamed the serpent; and, since the 
tempter had no one to accuse, it was implied that God had only 
himself to blame for creating the serpent, the man, the woman, 
and the garden in such a way that the banquet of forbidden 
fruit was inevitable. Some wag placed the blame back where 
it implies human responsibility with a pun, "It wasn't an apple 
that caused the trouble in the Garden of Eden. It was a bad 
pear." 

The escape for self-direction is not merely on the basis of 
rationalization or some widely accepted theories such as those 
just mentioned. The demands of life are sometimes so rigorous 
that a person evades them by alcoholism, neurotic flights of 
fancy, compulsive dependence, or some other escape. Times 
such as these make enormous demands on personalities; con- 
sequently one is forced either to manage his life or run away. 
One clever fellow has called the escape through drink an "alco- 
holiday." The problems are just as bad, if not worse, when the 
holiday is over, and the beguiled person is less able to find a 
solution. The escape by means of some kind of compensatory 
behavior is illustrated with unusual insight in Hans Christian 
Andersen's "The Red Shoes." Once the red shoes were on 
Karen's feet, she had no alternative but to dance. The persons 



19 



who wear the red shoes in the form of addiction to love affairs, 
narcotics, magical formulas, and so forth, are sidestepping the 
insistent demand of life for responsible behavior. 

The overconfident boast of ability to manage life, however, 
may be far from the facts. Those who arrogantly assume the 
ability to bend circumstances to the whim of preference ignore 
many stubborn facts which lie beyond individual control. The 
personality expert who promises to remake life completely in 
ten easy lessons is an embarrassment to thoughtful psychologists. 
The "day-by-day-in-every-way-better-and-better" viewpoint 
which had its recent vogue was entirely too optimistic. The 
swaggering self-assertion of William Ernest Henley is often 
quoted as a classic example of overconfidence in self-direction. 
He said: 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud. 

Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 

How charged with punishments the scroll, 

I am the master of my fate ; 
I am the captain of my soul. 

— William Ernest Henley 

To be perfectly fair with Henley, it must be recognized that 
the verse accepts the eventualities of life but prefers defiance to 
acquiescence. "The fell clutch of circumstance" is a confession 
of stubborn forces that shape life's course, and the "master of 
my fate" is master only in the sense of one who can endure 
hardship without a murmur. The "captain of my soul" may 
be in command of a ship which is at the mercy of the winds 
and tides of life as well as the limitations of its own sea- 
worthiness. The boast of Henley is merely the vehement denial 
that there will be mutiny within his soul. No man is really 
master of his fate or captain of his soul. Yet he can say with 
humility and deep conviction, "Life can be managed." 



20 



A playful classmate of my freshman year who printed show 
cards to earn spending money placed this sign over the door of 
my dormitory room: 

PERRY EPLER GRESHAM 

General Manager 

Those who came through the door wanted to know if I was 
the manager of the room, the dormitory, the college, or if, with 
the self-assurance of seventeen years, I had a consuming ambi- 
tion to become chief executive of some business enterprise. At 
first it was a joke with me. Later I began to make the inevitable 
decisions of what course to pursue, how to spend my time, how 
to select a fair companion for the social events, and how to 
make my allowance last a month. I called in the show-card 
printer and asked him to rewrite the card to read : 

PERRY EPLER GRESHAM 
General Manager of my Own Life 

Pride, arrogance and overconfidence were in that announce- 
ment to the world. Now after thirty years of aspiration and 
struggle, achievement and defeat, I could still exhibit the notice, 
but its meaning has been completely transformed, for I now 
recognize that no man appoints himself general manager even 
though the awful responsibility of managing his own life is 
absolutely inescapable. The devious evasions of this high re- 
sponsibility send some into an escape neurosis and others into 
dependencies which force them to live in slavery to compulsive 
attitudes, but none successfully escapes. God has appointed 
each human being general manager of his own life. The worthy 
person accepts the appointment and does the best he can. 

The significance of the high appointment would be better 
comprehended and appreciated if one could receive the charge 
of self-responsibility in the context of some appropriate cere- 
monial. Many primitive cultures initiated the young men into 
the fellowship of maturity in an ordeal which involved a mani- 



21 



festation of courage and self-reliance. The franchise of a voter 
is accorded to the citizen who reaches the age of twenty-one 
as an indication that he is now individually responsible. Many 
churches and synagogues recognize the principle of moral and 
personal accountability by confirmations, Bar Mitzvah rites 
of initiation, baptism, and other forms of public recognition. 
These are reminders of the basic fact that each person becomes 
general manager of his own life. 

The very nature of human existence confronts each person 
with struggles, decisions, and action. Some of God's children 
meet the exigencies of life with level eye and confident step. 
The superiority of their successes could be readily traced to a 
more effective management of life's resources. The skill and 
wisdom that aid in achievement are of such a nature that 
recognition and purposeful application can improve their func- 
tioning. A person can improve his art of life management the 
same as he can develop his skill at writing, painting, speaking, 
or getting along with people. "All of God's children got shoes," 
but some wear them with more dignity and walk much farther 
than others. "All men are created equal," but some of them 
utilize their equal opportunities in such a way as to make their 
lives vastly more significant and useful than do others. The 
difference between muddling and deliberate art in living is the 
recognition of, and creative adjustment to, the fact that each 
person is general manager of his own life. 

When a person accepts responsibility for his own life, he 
must first gain some general conception of what he has to 
manage. The best possible investment of time is that spent in 
occasional inventory. What are the materials, aptitudes, skills, re- 
sources, opportunities, and such, which God has placed at man's 
disposal? The most obvious answer is a human organism. Every- 
body is one; each is absolutely unique; none is perfect. The 
only sensible procedure is to accept this organism for what it 
is worth whether it is satisfactory and to one's liking or not. 
The history of the world has been enriched by persons who 
made heroic use of inadequate physical organisms: deaf Beetho- 



22 



ven wrote majestic symphonies which continue to bring beauty 
and meaning to myriad ears that can hear. Blind Milton has 
delighted the eyes of his spiritual posterity. The ploughed-field 
face of Abraham Lincoln has shone with benign significance on 
those who love liberty in every race and every nation. 

A human organism is the most delicate and amazing con- 
figuration of energy imaginable, and yet with all its intricacy 
it is the individual's to manage. No wonder the Apostle Paul 
called it "the temple of the soul.'' It has a biological history 
that loses itself in ancestry. The ages required for its develop- 
ment inspire wonder. Its tough resistance to disease and injury 
makes continued life possible. The wisdom which it exhibits 
keeps the balance of temperature and chemistry necessary for 
functioning — all beyond one's conscious control. The complex 
nervous system relates cell with cell to give integrity to the 
heterogeneous assembly of its component particles and members. 
Its appearance is called "physical beauty." Tears are shed 
for want of it; time, effort, and money are spent to achieve it; 
pride often accompanies its possession. The effective functioning 
of this body is called "health." The staggering investment of 
intelligence, wealth, energy, time, and skill in pursuit of health 
show how it is cherished by humanity. Upon it depends success, 
happiness, significance, and life itself. 

The role played by an individual in relation to his social 
environment is called "personality." Everybody has one, but its 
quality depends on management. The amazing complexity of 
human personality has been the theme of much fiction and art. 
The intellectual aspect of personality, called "mind," is itself a 
staggering responsibility for direction and use. Vast educational 
systems are devoted to the difficult task of giving guidance and 
discipline to mental pursuits. No two minds are alike. An 
Einstein and a moron are vastly different in mental capital, 
but each is responsible for using what he has. The achievements 
of comparatively low-grade minds are no more startling than 
the failures of those rated as unusually high grade. "Wisdom" 
is the name applied to the tendency to make wise decisions, 



23 



for when a person has alternate choices, and prefers the more 
worthy, he gains the reputation of being wise. To lift such 
decisions from the unconscious level of tradition or habit to 
the conscious level of deliberate choice is a function of mental 
management. 

Each person has certain attitudes among which are the in- 
clinations toward physical and economic well-being, social ap- 
proval, companionship, and experience of beauty. Physical and 
economic well-being include a vast network of activities which 
command most of a lifetime. An inclination to security results 
in seeking satisfactory vocational pursuits. Clothes, homes, bank 
accounts, and often social position are related to this search 
for security. Related to it, too, is the tremendous ego drive for 
achievement which is present in every one. Unless a person can 
succeed in a majority of his efforts, he becomes frustrated. 
Many lives are broken by feelings of guilt and inferiority on 
account of unfulfilled ambitions. The achievement or ego drive 
is definitely a part of personal inventory, and the responsibility 
to manage it must be recognized. 

The wish for recognition or approval, in like manner, may 
get out of hand. The human desire for approbation is a tend- 
ency neither good nor bad in itself which can lead to the gates 
of paradise or to perdition. The need for companionship and 
fellowship is universal at the human level. A person can starve 
to death for love just as he can starve to death for want of 
calories and proteins. Here again lies opportunity or tragedy; 
while the corruption that comes from evil associations is ap- 
palling, the redemption that comes from fellowship is even more 
remarkable. Finally, every one has deep thirst for beauty. Art 
and literature, as well as many everyday activities, spring from 
this universal need. 

Self-management involves not only oneself, but the whole 
environment with which one interacts. The tender ties of friend- 
ship, the rapture of singing birds, and the glory of majestic 
mountains; the past, present and future of the universe are all 
related to each individual. The whole world clusters around 



24 



the human personality. For one to relate himself wisely to all 
the external factors that bear on his life is a matter for ponder- 
ing. 

The span of time which a person lives is another part of his 
management inventory. The "threescore and ten years," men- 
tioned in the Scripture as life expectancy, involve the average 
person in an astronomical number of decisions. The whole 
theory of life management is based on the ability to choose and 
decide wisely. Time is of central concern; hours wasted or 
utilized have influential bearing on the course of a lifetime. 

When one has taken inventory, he comes face to face with 
the problem involved in directing the enterprise of living a 
deliberate life. After he has decided what he has to manage 
in terms of body, personality, context and time, he can begin 
to analyze the problems that confront him. He can understand 
these obstacles, lacks, needs, or desires in terms of their relation 
to his own past experience and his aptitudes. For a person to 
become acutely aware of his difficulties and to consider them 
in terms of their solution is a mighty stride toward a solution. 

The very act of comprehending a problem brings vision for 
its solution. Suppose a young person in college is unhappy about 
his achievement. His marks have fallen below his usual stand- 
ard. Dissatisfied with the way in which he has been investing 
his time, he scrutinizes his situation and, as a result, he envisions 
a new kind of person. Instead of a time-waster he begins to 
think of himself as one who makes each moment count, and 
he has enough humility to see beyond his present self to the 
person that he could become. God's great gift to man is imagi- 
nation, for by it he can explore unrealized possibility. 

All the wisdom of the ages written in books and stored in 
the minds of professors could not bring about an enlightened 
student without some methodical procedure by which he organ- 
izes himself for the solution of his problem. He must have a 
specific set of objectives and a series of actions that will propel 
him to class, to the library, and to adequate rest until his grades 
are restored to their usual level. 



25 



One third of the entire population of the world is made up 
of persons who have common intelligence as compared to the 
two or three per cent classified as geniuses. The difference 
between great and meager achievement lies in the area of mo- 
tivation. Man knows the wages of war, crime, greed, and other 
kinds of social and personal sin. He knows well enough what 
kind of person he should be and what kind of world is desirable. 
He is able even to project a program to achieve these ends. Un- 
fortunately, however, he often lacks the will. 

The person who would truly manage his life must bring him- 
self into relationship with the people and the projected values 
that will bring such compelling meaning as to enable the 
fugitive possibility to become the blessed actuality. The basic 
problem in life management is the power of God entering one's 
life in such a way as to create the hunger or thirst for righteous- 
ness which can be satisfied only with God's gracious approval, 
"Well done, good and faithful servant." 

A six-point approach to the urgent enterprise of life-manage- 
ment will serve as a rough guide in the realms of religion, mind, 
emotions, personality, health, friendship, time, vocation, money, 
and death. 

1. Inventory. The first consideration in any management is 
an understanding of the amount, value, and condition of the 
things for which one is responsible. 

2. Analysis. The problems, interests, tendencies, difficulties, 
and bearing of any concern in life must be clarified and lifted to 
the level of deliberate choice. 

3. Vision. Problems are solved when a person has enough 
imagination to see beyond the difficulties to the solution. 

4. Procedure. Vision may be harmful instead of helpful un- 
less one implements his envisioned goals with a program calcu- 
lated to bring achievement. 

5. Resources. Nobody lives by his own powers or possessions. 
He learns, rather, the resources by which he can live. His role is 
that of relating himself creatively to the vast resources available. 

6. Performance. The only confirmation of competence in 



26 



management is significant achievement. Meaning that compels 
action until goals become realized and strength to achieve these 
goals constitute the power to perform. 

Ah, great it is to believe the dream 
As we stand in youth by the starry stream; 
But a greater thing is to fight life through, 
And say at the end, "The dream is true!" 

— Edwin Markham 4 



■•Reprinted by permission of Virgil Markham. 



27 



AN UNSHAKEABLE 
FAITH 



A man's religion is the most important thing about him. An 
old English innkeeper offered the opinion that he'd rather know 
the religion of the man who asks credit than the size of his bank 
account. The loyalties of faith subordinate all other loyalties. 
Jesus spoke the literal truth when he told his disciples to seek 
first the kingdom of God and then economic security would be 
theirs. If a person gets his religion straightened out, his whole 
life falls into order; the management of faith implies the over- 
all management of life. When the supreme devotion is clear 
and dominant, no problem of any nature can shake the ultimate 
security and peace of the faithful. In the words of Paul, 
"Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor 
things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor 
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate 
us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." — Romans 
8:38-39 

The major problem of life, then, is the cultivation of a com- 
pelling faith based on solid truth. Such faith is not the product 
of human effort; it is, rather, the gift of God. Its cultivation 
requires that a man get his attitudes right and his impediments 
to complete devotion out of the way. A lifetime of discipline 
is required for the accomplishment of these purposes. The 
attitudes are wayward and stubborn — the impediments are 

The material in this chapter was presented in the Jennie Cutler Shumate Lecture given 
at Lynchburg College, April 12, 1961. 



28 



many and varied. "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, 
that leads to life." — Matthew 7:14 

An inventory of one's religious faith involves consideration of 
its case history. It is appropriate to ask how much of it is 
inherited from the cultural environment in which the person- 
ality developed. Some would argue that no other faith is re- 
quired than the unquestioning acceptance of the faith of our 
fathers. George Santayana, for example, held that religion is 
like one's language or tastes. It is taken with a mother's milk 
and requires no tampering — only enrichment. Others would 
argue that a valid faith must be one's own — received afresh 
from God and hammered out on the anvil of human experience. 
Still others would demand a critical evaluation of one's faith 
in order to correct the hidden errors and modify the loyalties 
in such fashion that one could give "reason for the faith that 
lies within him." A worthy faith will stand complete and relent- 
less examination in the light of reason and experience. Another 
would testify that faith cannot be inherited, acquired, or 
thought out at all — it must be lived out under the providence of 
God. It is the answer of a whole lifetime of devotion to God 
and man based on truth and expressed in a career of loving 
service. 

The faith of an ordinary person is likely to be a combination 
of all sorts of remnants, hopes, fears, beliefs, and aspirations 
held in a perfunctory fashion and examined only in times of 
frustration, danger, difficulty, or other sorts of stress. It is fre- 
quently corrupted by the various modern idolatries of human- 
ism and materialism. These idolatrous corruptions are subtile 
and insidious. They come clothed as the very essence of value 
worthy of supreme devotion. 

Humanism refers to the various forms of worship which 
surreptitiously sing "Glory to man in the highest" for a Christ- 
mas hymn. The usual form is that variety of self-worship which 
can be most readily identified with original sin. The lust for 
personal power, love, comfort, or prestige which sees no higher 
object of loyalty than one's own enjoyment or achievement is 



29 



almost hopelessly ubiquitous. Selfishness is the direct enemy of 
a faith that matters most for the salvation of a human life. 
It can disguise itself as generosity by masquerading as the 
service of my children, my career, my responsibilities, my con- 
cerns, but the "my" is the corrupting factor. 

The social forms of humanism are equally deceptive. The 
worship of the state is one of the common forms of collective 
idolatry. Nationalism can be the very incarnation of evil when 
the totalitarianism of the Nazis or Communists is in control. 
Governments are for the service of man under God; they are 
not the objects of worship that replace God. As nations attempt 
to play God in the lives of people by offering the security of 
welfare and asking the absolute devotion of their constituent 
peoples, they are going beyond the bounds of appropriate func- 
tions. God alone is absolute. Nations which arrogate divine 
prerogatives to themselves perish as they exemplify the fact that 
no person or group of persons can possibly be wise enough and 
good enough to serve as the object of supreme devotion for all 
human living. 

The American devotion to comfort is almost an idolatrous 
preoccupation. The term "American way of life" amounts al- 
most to an obsession with comfort. When a person is forced to 
analyze what he means by the term, he usually begins by speak- 
ing of his freedom which turns out, upon examination, to be 
freedom to be comfortable. The original and noble meaning 
was based on individual freedom and responsibility to share 
in the government and to join in mutual enterprises for the 
common good. It had reference to the dignity of the common 
man. The contemporary meaning usually turns to refrigerators, 
bathtubs, motor cars, and standards of living which add up to 
comfort. 

Success is another manifestation of our humanistic idolatry. 
Nothing could be more noble than to be successful in an effort 
to make some contribution in business, recreation, profession, 
or to the good of one's community or to his family. The mad 
rush to succeed for its own sake, however, brings on the tragedy 



30 



of ambition which feeds on itself and is forever thwarted. The 
ambition for position and for power drive men and women 
alike to foolish competition and to nervous frustration. The 
fierce race for position in a country where "every man is as 
good as any other man, if not a little bit better" can be so com- 
manding that it absorbs the dominant loyalty of a person and, 
therefore, becomes idolatry. 

Conformity can be a subtle form of idolatrous obsession. The 
desire to "belong" may have enough authority in this lonely 
age to elicit the all-out devotion of people until these attitudes 
and patterns of behavior become religious in nature. It is a 
shocking fact, but a fact nevertheless, that many people spend 
a lifetime of anxious effort to be exactly like the people in the 
various groups to which they aspire. To spend a lifetime moving 
from clique to clique is a most unsatisfactory existence. For 
a person to abandon his unique personality which God gave 
him is disloyalty to himself and therefore to God. Yet countless 
people accept the norms of the cherished groups as worthy 
of a lifetime of anxious effort to get in and stay in. The most 
honored groups are only provisional in value. 

Materialism is a form of idolatry quite as much as the golden 
calf or the Baalim. The Communist religion is based on a com- 
bination of humanism and dialectic materialism. It assumes no 
other goals in life than goods, power, and conformity to the 
party. The worship of Mammon is not unknown in New York, 
Los Angeles, and on Main Street. A person may devote a 
lifetime to acquiring goods he cannot use simply because he 
needs to outstrip other people. The lust for expensive homes and 
impressive cars, ostentatious clothes and other conspicuous 
consumption can amount to the crass worship of mere material 
things. Money is a good thing. The worship of money is a 
massive evil. When a man works only for money, his life is 
impoverished. 

The basis for an unshakeable faith was laid thousands of 
years ago when Moses went up into the black thunderhead that 
covered the summit of Mount Sinai. The people shuddered with 



31 



fear as the darkness obscured his form. There in that holy place, 
between God and man, amidst the peals of thunder God wrote 
in jagged strokes of lightning, "You shall have no other gods 
before me." As long as man worships himself, humanity, money, 
and the things money will buy, he is denied the redemptive 
consolation of God. Until man lays aside idolatries, he cannot 
become a subject within the reign of God the Father Almighty. 

RELIGION IS A LOVE AFFAIR 

The Christian religion is basically a love affair between God 
and man. When the lawyer asked Jesus, "Which is the great 
commandment?" he answered, " 'You shall love the Lord your 
God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your 
mind. ... A second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as 
yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and 
the prophets.'" — Matthew 22:36-40. This is the center of all 
true and redeeming faith. There is no salvation from pride, 
anxiety, fear, and sin apart from the all-out love of God. The 
management of life begins and ends in this comprehensive love 
of God which is the total response to God's love for man. 

To love God with the whole heart implies disciplined emo- 
tions. The person who literally falls in love with God can no 
longer allow his appetites to lure him toward wealth, sex, pres- 
tige, power, naked self-interest, or any other form of infidelity. 
This viewpoint does not mean a retreat to the desert with St. 
Anthony or to the cell with St. Theresa. It means that money 
earned is God's money, that love for a mate is an expression 
of the love of God, and love of children or parents is a way 
of loving God. It is the quality of life that sees the godly portion 
in every human personality — God's face in every human face. 
The power and influence at the disposal of a successful person 
are devoted to God's service. The statesman serves God in serving 
his country for the best interest of all mankind. The physician 
heals by helping God help his suffering children; the teacher 
conveys God's truth to God's children; the workman serves 



32 



God in handling the machine, laying the bricks, or driving the 
truck. This attitude is not obligation; it is rather an out-and- 
out preference for the best and noblest approach which any- 
one can know or imagine. It is aspiration toward that which 
is above and beyond the levels of human experience — dimly 
sensed, but nonetheless real and compelling. 

Nobody can fully achieve this level of perfection, yet some 
scholars exhibit love of truth which approaches the ideal. Some 
parents love their children and love beauty, truth, and goodness 
with a warmth that reflects fundamental love of God. Many 
businessmen carry on the affairs of life in such a way that every 
transaction includes an awareness of the fact that the handling 
of human relations and enterprises is a kind of stewardship for 
God. Many doctors and lawyers, workmen, and farmers can 
honestly say with the apostles, " 'We must obey God rather 
than men.' " In every artist whose sense of beauty goes beyond 
the symbols, the content, and the form to that which is eternal 
and precious, there is an instance of God at work. The scientist 
whose dedication to worthy goals lures him to self-sacrifice and 
relentless accuracy exemplifies an occasion of the love of God 
whether he knows it or not. 

The person whose love of God is as spontaneous as the devo- 
tion of a flower to the springtime sun does not think of himself 
as an example of piety any more than a sincere young man 
devoted to his sweetheart thinks of himself as a paragon of love. 
He forgets himself in adoration. The cultivated emotions are 
forgetful of themselves. In The River Line Marie says, "People 
are desired who expect to be desired, and envied who expect to 
be envied, but no one is ever deeply loved who is not as incredu- 
lous of love as he is of death." 1 

There was more of the love of God in the tax collector's " 'God 
be merciful to me a sinner!' " than in the self-conscious prayer 
of the Pharisee. 

To love God with all one's soul is a matter of will as well as 
of feeling. The "whole-souled" love of God requires a pure 

1 Charles Morgan, The River Line (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1952), 
p. 181. 



33 



heart, and purity of heart is singleness of purpose. When Im- 
manuel Kant said, "There is nothing absolutely good except a 
good will," he referred in part to the singleness of purpose and 
intention which is exemplified by the person who loves God 
with all his soul. Religion is everything or it is nothing. A 
person cannot partly serve God and partly serve Mammon or 
self. The ambivalent will is the ruin of religion. The Christian 
religion requires all there is of a man. His commitment must 
be complete. 

Paul, Augustine, and Francis of Assisi are notable examples 
of powerful conversion which brought with it a dominant 
purpose. Paul's career as reflected in Acts of the Apostles and 
his Epistles is a study in whole-souled service. He summed up 
his motives with the declaration "It is no longer I who live, 
but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). St. Augustine 
gave himself resolutely to Christian scholarship in such an effec- 
tive manner that theology found clear, classical utterance from 
the Bishop of Hippo. The crowded accomplishment of his life 
is testimony to his energy as well as his unswerving singleness 
of purpose. St. Francis was succinctly described by Victor Hugo 
as having "run away to God as naturally as most boys ran 
away to sea." 

The intellectual love of God implies that all of one's mental 
powers are and will be devoted to the fulfillment of the will of 
God. The major tragedy of contemporary life is the fact that 
first-rate minds are content with second-, third-, and fourth- 
rate thoughts and activities. The potential Newtons, Miltons, 
Marshalls, Steinmetzes, Einsteins, and Whitmans who never use 
their mental capacities for anything but small talk and piddling 
activities are not only wasteful but dangerous. In the attempt 
to love God, man should not use less than his best intellectual 
abilities. The anti-intellectual influence which dissuades a person 
from making the best use of his brain in favor of the more 
mundane achievements of strength, entertainment, or wealth 
is a sinful condition. The command of Christ is "You shall love 
the Lord your God . . . with all your mind." 



34 



It is particularly important for a person to make use of all his 
abilities in the love of God. It is to be remembered that this 
love can be expressed in any worthy enterprise from a friendly 
game of golf to serving as president of a republic. When a per- 
son has unused abilities, he accumulates unlived life. Personnel 
experts have discovered that highly intelligent people are incom- 
petent at routine work which provides no great challenge. Every 
person has a religious responsibility to work up to the limit 
of his ability. It is better for his capabilities to stretch than for 
him to loaf along. Business executives who have artistic talent 
should learn to paint, carve, perform music, or utilize that 
talent in some other appropriate fashion. To love God in all 
areas requires a resourceful attempt at using oneself up in 
service. It is literally true that he who gives his life will save 
it while he who attempts to save his life will lose it. 

It is a pity that the intellectual tradition of the Christian 
religion has been so neglected by the laity. There is no good 
reason why an intelligent person should be ignorant of the Bible, 
church history, or Christian theology. The average American 
layman has stereotyped himself as a good-natured and well- 
meaning person who knows little or nothing about the great 
doctrines, of God, Christ, immortality, sin, the church, the 
Bible, and other such vital areas of Christian thought. Any 
thoughtful Christian could be relatively well informed in these 
areas with a modicum of interest and effort in consideration of 
the free moments of a lifetime. The person who best manages 
his mind knows a great deal about his vocation and a great deal 
about God. Both are part of man's intellectual love of the heav- 
enly Father. 

The mind which loves God is not interested merely in theo- 
logical matters. The late Archbishop Temple reminded us that 
"It is a great mistake to suppose that God is only, or even 
chiefly, concerned with religion." The pursuit of the arts and 
sciences provides an opportunity for a man to express his love 
of God with his whole mind. Johannes Kepler considered his 
astronomy in this light when he said, "O God, I am thinking 



35 



Thy thoughts after Thee." The systematic thought about con- 
temporary politics or the geology of the Grand Canyon may be 
an effective means of praising God. Certainly the scholarly ap- 
proach to human affairs is witness to the fact that God is in 
command of schools other than church schools, books, other 
than hymnbooks, and psychology as well as theology. 

To love one's neighbor as oneself is a necessary implication 
of the love of God. As John correctly points out "If anyone 
says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar." The bibli- 
cal doctrine of the love of God requires that the witness and 
expression of that love be directed to God's children. Human 
love apart from its divine bearings is idolatrous, whereas human 
love as an expression of divine love is God at work through his 
children. The Earl of Shaftesbury is remembered by the school 
children of England who gave their pennies to build the memo- 
rial at Piccadilly Circus which bears this inscription: 

Erected by public subscription to 

Anthony Ashley Cooper, K. G., 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, 

Born 1801 

Died 1885. 

During a public life of half a century he devoted the 

influence of his station, 

the strong sympathies of his heart, 

And the great powers of his mind 

to honouring God by serving his fellowmen ; 

an example to his order, a blessing to this people, 

and a name to be by them 

ever gratefully remembered. — William Ewart Gladstone 

Bishop Grundtvig of Denmark is honored by a church built in 
his memory from public subscription. Both men were profoundly 
Christian, and each in his own way gave witness to God by serv- 
ing his fellow men. 

No culture can long endure without a vital religion. Nations 
disintegrate when faith grows cold, for mere human relations 
cannot save society. Only the love for God which inspires love 



36 



for man can supply the attitudes upon which a civilization can 
survive. The dead civilizations provide interesting studies in the 
collapse of human-centered societies. Man is by nature vicious 
and predatory. He brings from the jungle and the wilderness 
the lusts and fangs which may finally destroy him. Only the 
motives of an ego-sublimating faith are strong enough to hold 
him in line. History testifies to the grim truth of the proposition : 

Unless the Lord builds the house, 

those who build it labor in vain. — Psalm 127:1 



FAITH CAN BE REASONABLE 

An unshakeable faith must stand up to the most relentless 
intellectual scrutiny. A protected faith which shies from all in- 
vestigation is unworthy of an enlightened scholar, and is a 
travesty on Christianity which has challenged the mightiest intel- 
lects in twenty centuries. Only the religion which relies on magic 
and incantations need shudder in the face of the most rigorous 
logic and research. The pagan Greeks and Romans, the subtle 
gnostics, the humanists of the enlightenment, and the contempo- 
rary existentialists have broken their lances on the solid advance 
of the Judaeo-Christian doctrines. The growth of science has 
served as a torchlight for faith rather than an extinguisher as 
some hoped and others feared. The witness of archeology has 
brought new conviction to the religion of Jesus Christ. The 
highly developed psychological and sociological studies of hu- 
man behavior and human affairs have enriched religion by illus- 
trating its indispensability. 

The ordinary person may have some serious doubts about the 
existence of God. This concern is a good thing if handled in 
a reasonable fashion. Upon study and reflection this doubt 
tends to disappear, since it arises most frequently from a lack 
of understanding and an inadequate approach to faith. God 
is vastly more than any human idea can comprehend — yet 
nobody can think accurately about religion without some 



37 



minimal concept of God. Anselm's open and comprehensive 
definition is a good place to start. "God is that than which 
nothing greater can be conceived." This approach rules out 
all the fairy-tale conceptions of childhood and challenges the 
maturing mind to seek the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob 
as revealed in the incarnation, ministry, atonement, and resur- 
rection of Jesus Christ. The greatest conception of the greatest 
mind is puny enough, but it is vastly more adequate than a child- 
hood concept of a third- or fourth-rate mind. 

The logic of atheism is completely contradictory. An illustra- 
tion may serve to clarify this fact. To say there is in the writings 
of Shakespeare a sentence, 

"A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!" 
involves no proof beyond the exhibit of the passage in King 
Richard III. To say, however, there is not in Shakespeare the 
passage, 

"Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take 
for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and con- 
sider" involves the examination of everything written by the 
Elizabethan bard, published or unpublished. The fact that Bacon 
wrote the line in no way proves that it does not appear in Shake- 
speare. In like manner a person can testify to the fact of God 
on the basis of one event in history or one experience in a life- 
time. For him to say, however, that God does not exist would 
require him to have examined all history plus all experience in 
time and space. This affirmation would involve omniscience. 
Only the perverse or ignorant — literally, 

The fool says in his heart, 

"There is no God."— Psalm 14: 1 

The sincere seeker after truth who thinks of God as the best 
that is, or ever can be, has a basis for beginning. He must, how- 
ever, recognize his own ignorance. A flea attempting to define 
Socrates would be in a stronger position than a philosopher at- 
tempting to define God, for definition of the ineffable is a con- 
tradiction. Yet the person who fully admits his ignorance and 
clearly distinguishes between God and his idea of God can sense 



38 



the vast reality which lies beyond his range of comprehension. 
God has revealed himself to man in the creation, in history, and 
in Jesus Christ as well as in human experience. This revelation 
is enough for man to live by as the millions of saintly people 
have proved. Moreover, this revelation makes sense to human 
thought as the multitude of theologians have proved. Nature, 
human nature, and history are evidences of the loving God for 
the person who can avoid the complicating quirks of reason that 
blind him to the ultimate fact. The creature responds to his Cre- 
ator, the saved to his Savior when the windows of the mind are 
thrown open. 

THE BIBLE IS REASONABLE 

The Bible is a reasonable record of God's revelation to man. 
It is not merely history, but divine history, given to persuade the 
recalcitrant, rebellious, weak, proud, and otherwise sinful chil- 
dren of God to love the heavenly Father. It is perhaps the world's 
greatest literature, but it is more than literature — it is the holy 
language of God through inspired prophets and apostles. The 
Bible is biography which presents ordinary human beings like 
David and Simon Peter in a holy and prophetic light which ac- 
cents the divinity in man with a sharp contrast to the sinfulness. 
The Bible, written over more than a millennium, still contains 
the underlying unity of a vast symphony. The various authors 
are under the direction of one Author. 

The Bible, like our reckoning of time, begins at the center. 
The Old Testament looks forward to the Messiah; the New 
Testament looks backward to Christ and forward to the ultimate 
triumph of Christ as Lord of all things visible and invisible. The 
words of the Bible in disclosing the power of God in history 
which culminated in the birth, ministry, crucifixion, and resur- 
rection of Christ enable us to glimpse the vast meaning which 
lies back of them. They are torches for our journey in the dark. 

There is power for living in this sacred library. It is the wis- 
dom of God transforming the foolishness of man. Consolation 



39 



for the lonely and sorrowing is balanced by reproof for the sinful. 
There is a message for every human mood. Some of the great- 
est paintings, the greatest sculpture, the greatest literature, and 
the greatest music of our civilization were inspired by the Bible. 
The morality and ideals which have enabled our economic and 
political orders to develop are derived from the sacred pages. 
The age-long selfishness of man has been stoutly resisted by the 
biblical doctrine of redeeming love. When someone asked Albert 
Einstein what the German churches had that the universities 
and government lacked — that amazing courage which enabled 
the churches to stand up to Hitler — Einstein answered, "They 
had the first commandment." 

The person who brings a sincere intention to the problem of 
managing his life does well to study the Scripture. This genera- 
tion appears to have a greater interest in the latest book than 
in the greatest book. It is a pity that all school children are not 
introduced to the study of the Bible in the same objective fashion 
as they are disciplined in history or mathematics. The power of 
the ancient Hebrew culture came partly from the fact that all 
children learned the Old Testament. The victory of the Arab 
civilization which gave pre-eminence to Arab art and letters in 
the Middle Ages came largely from the fact that the center of 
all education was the Koran. The Bible could revitalize and 
regenerate our civilization if given the opportunity. It is the solid 
core of morality, ideals, brotherhood, and coherence for the cul- 
ture which America upholds. The Pilgrim Fathers brought no 
cargo comparable to the Bible; no customs equal to their faith- 
ful worship; no purposes as worthy as their quest for religious 
liberty. When the Bible is neglected, civilization loses its center. 
Social responsibilities as well as private responsibilities demand 
Bible study. 

THE CHURCH IS REASONABLE 

Church attendance is a valuable aid to living a worthy and 
significant life. It is just as reasonable to talk of education without 



40 



churches. A church is a community with dimensions which are 
schools or justice without courts as to talk of religion without 
God high, man wide, and as long as history. Membership in a 
vital church stretches the mind, enlarges the heart, and gives 
range to interests. The missionary message of the church is a 
rebuke to localism, the stewardship teachings of the church chal- 
lenge human greed and selfishness, and the worship of the church 
channels emotions into meaningful rituals. Egocentricity has a 
difficult challenge in the fellowship of corporate prayer and mu- 
tual activities which look away from the puny self to the bound- 
less meaning of God. No person can belong to a church and con- 
tinually have his own way. As long as people are people, the 
church will be imperfect. It is not so much a museum for saints 
as a school for sinners. The most comprehensive company on 
earth is the company of sinners who need redemption. 

The church is God's answer to the needs of man. It is a fel- 
lowship to dispel loneliness; it is a mighty fortress to relieve fears; 
it is a stern reminder to keep man from Promethean presump- 
tion. The church is the largest and most successful adult educa- 
tional program in existence. The sacraments of the church are 
God's object lessons to man; the language of action in baptism 
or the Lord's Supper are universally valid in terms of communi- 
cation. Verbal symbols are shallow and inexpressive in compari- 
son to the language of gesture in which the whole being speaks 
under the spell of consecrated mystery and devotion. 

Participation in the life of a church not only contributes to 
the salvation of the individual and the health of society, but it 
serves to fructify all other activities. Government, business, in- 
dustry, charity, education, art, social service, community organi- 
zation, and human relations derive inspiration and encourage- 
ment from churches. The physician who is active in his church 
has a universal aspect to his healing ministry. The workman 
who also serves in church can consecrate his hands for serving 
God through his daily work. The statesman who lifts up his 
hands in prayer is aware of a framework above and beyond his 
political constituency. All noble work is God's work. The church 



41 



reminds its members of this fact in order that the sons of men 
may think of themselves as the sons of God and live more godly 
lives. 

The church in America is in need of the leadership which 
should be supplied by its laity. Everyone has a special contribu- 
tion which only he can render to the church. His life lacks ful- 
fillment and the church suffers if that contribution is withheld. 

THE DISCIPLINES OF PRAYER 

"Lord, teach us how to pray" is the fervent request of many 
bewildered and seeking disciples since the storied incident which 
gave the Lord's Prayer to the world. Prayer is a discipline which 
requires a lifetime of devotion even though it is at its best on the 
lips of a little child. There is no saint who has mastered the vast 
meaning and mystery of prayer. The Lord himself spent hours of 
assiduous attention to the practice of prayer. Jacob wrestling 
with an angel is a symbol of the inner conflicts which emerge 
as a sincere person attempts to bring his will into complete har- 
mony with the will of God. The search for guidance in the laby- 
rinthine maze of life calls for spiritual athletes who keep them- 
selves fit by self-discipline and constant training. 

When Jesus answered the petition of his disciples for training 
in the art of prayer, he gave a classic pattern which brings chal- 
lenge to the most learned and most consecrated as well as expres- 
sion to the inarticulate. Most people repeat the words of the 
prayer without analyzing its profound meaning. It is the life of 
faith in 64 words. A person who fully understands the Lord's 
Prayer and prays it with his life needs no other guidance, for 
the perfect relationship between God and man and between man 
and man are included in those few carefully uttered sentences. 

The Lord's Prayer is a paragon for every prayer. The seven 
elements are as follows : 

1. An immediate awareness of God which inspires enthralled 
adoration. 

2. A consequent awareness of sin which evokes confession. 



42 



3. Undivided attention to the will of God which loosens the 
fetters of egocentricity and worldliness. 

4. A petition for life without stress which brings reconciliation 
to the exigencies of human existence. 

5. An earnest plea for the benediction of forgiveness which 
requires a forgiving heart. 

6. Prayer for integrity of purpose which wills to righteousness 
in avoiding even the conditions of evil while providing the con- 
ditions that eventuate in goodness. 

7. An ascription of praise and thanksgiving which is the spon- 
taneous aspiration of a faithful and expectant heart. Adoration, 
confession, consecration, release, forgiveness, integrity of purpose, 
and thanksgiving are the elements of prayer. These must be lived 
as well as uttered. Let a person be careful when he prays, for 
prayer is dangerous. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." 



43 



THE DISCIPLINE 
OF EMOTIONS 



Confucius summed up the human predicament with the 
maxim "The sin of youth is lust; the sin of the middle years is 
struggle; the sin of old age is avarice." Massive emotions can 
overpower reason in day-by-day encounters until the mind be- 
comes a rationalizing servant of the nerves and feelings. Just 
when a man feels most confident of his rational powers, he finds 
himself shaken from great emotional charges that treat him as 
a dog treats a rat. Fear, guilt, lust, anger, and love are the five 
great emotions of man. They stalk him all his life. Without man- 
agement of emotions life has no effective management at all. 
Intelligence must learn to cope with emotions as shrewd weak- 
ness deals with great strength. Reason can influence emotions 
even though it is unable to bring them under complete control. 
If the influence option is not exercised then reason may be com- 
pletely enslaved. 

Human emotions are extremely evasive and sly. They belong 
to the long history of the race. They appear in blase faces and 
deceptive manners. They do not await our bidding. Emotional 
responses do not demand facts, reality, or reasons. They represent 
the great involuntary equipment originally necessary for survival. 
They constitute the stuff of happiness and destruction alike. 
Their power over both mind and body should be sufficient to 
create a healthy respect on the part of anyone. History is partly 



44 



in the power of hates and fears, lusts and loves that bring on 
wars, economic debacles, or a glorious heritage of arts and letters. 

The happiness and well-being of each person depends largely 
on his emotional management. The anxieties which send multi- 
tudes to tranquilizers and large numbers to mental hospitals de- 
rive from unsatisfactory emotional reactions to human difficul- 
ties. Emotional disturbance accounts for many failures in business 
and profession. More students leave school on account of feelings 
of guilt, fear, inferiority, hostility, anxiety, or emotional conflict 
than leave for academic and economic reasons exclusively. Sleep- 
lessness, which is the scourge of many, stems almost exclusively 
from emotional causes. Anyone who has known the anguish of 
worry, fear, guilt, hostility, or frustration can testify to the ab- 
solute necessity of emotional management for successful living. 

The problem of handling one's emotional life is complicated 
by the fact that information in the field is limited and is depend- 
ent upon theories which are inadequate if not contradictory. The 
pilgrim on the emotional path is left to grope his way through 
the inner jungles of irrational moods and feelings. Nevertheless, 
there are principles of management which are at least rough 
charts and crude compasses for the journey. The testimony of 
many who have cut their way through to a clearing gives courage 
and hope. 

Emotional illness requires expert counsel as urgently as physi- 
cal illness. The person who finds himself in great distress or sub- 
stantial maladjustment should seek the service of a psychiatrist 
at once. The science and art of psychiatry have relieved much 
suffering and worked some phenomenal cures. Even though the 
exact range and effect of psychiatric treatment are in mild dis- 
pute, the same could be said about medicine generally in modi- 
fied fashion. The first principle in emotional management is that 
a sick person needs a physician. Any reliable practitioner recog- 
nizes the importance of treatment for emotional as well as physi- 
cal disturbances. Psychosomatic medicine has grown into a 
clearly recognized field on account of the obvious need to treat 
the entire person. A complicated organism with complicated ail- 



45 



merits requires a comprehensive approach to treatment. There 
is no more reason for a person who suffers from emotional ill- 
ness to avoid expert help than for a person who has a ruptured 
appendix to avoid surgery. The tendency to ignore emotional 
pathology belongs to the days of sorcery and witchcraft. 

The problem of emotional discipline, however, belongs to 
everyone — sick, well, or in-between. The person who is appar- 
ently the paragon of health in mind and body is confronted with 
the necessity for wise handling of his feelings. This management 
involves recognition, critical judgment, understanding, plan- 
ning, decisions, and sometimes experimentation. The joy in liv- 
ing and the power of achievement depend in large measure upon 
his emotional responses. The art of disciplined living takes full 
account of these facts. A brief outline of five major character- 
istic emotions may prove helpful in the process. 



FEAR 

Fear is both friend and enemy. The baby enters the world 
with equipment to recoil at noise. Loss of support brings a fear 
reaction to a new-born child. The formative years bring a host 
of response patterns that amount to built-in fears. Every normal 
adult is fearful in certain situations. Without wholesome fear 
there is no safety and no survival. Life depends on a well-devel- 
oped system of defenses born of experience with danger. Yet 
much of the misery and tragedy of life can be traced to the gen- 
eralized response of fear. Health, happiness, and success are 
often jeopardized by it. The person who aims at deliberate liv- 
ing must sort out his fears in such a way that he can determine 
which are destructive and whicK are benevolent in order that 
he can manage both. To be afraid of the dark in a land of rob- 
bers is valid. Fear of the dark in the security of one's home is 
neurotic. The one may be just as real as the other in terms of 
psychological response, but the behavior which is indicated is 
very different. 



46 



INSECURITY AND ANXIETY 

The present century is a crescendo of deepening horror for 
many people. World War I was followed by a phony prosperity 
which brought on the depression. The anxieties of want were 
followed by the devastation of World War II. The resulting 
nervous response in a period of economic and international un- 
certainty is a widespread feeling of insecurity. Fear has become 
a persistent pattern for many who have never been certain of 
anything during a lifetime. The widespread search for security 
is the natural result of inner quaverings. A tendency toward the 
welfare state in America and other Western countries is the 
political result of this psychological mood of insecurity. Em- 
ployers complain that young men prefer pensions to opportuni- 
ties. Sociologists observe the drift toward group identities that 
obscure the individual person. People huddle together in parties, 
unions, associations, leagues, clubs, and so forth, to allay the 
inner feelings of insecurity. The threat of hydrogen bombs and 
financial disaster are mirrored in the hearts of people as gen- 
eralized and diffuse fears. 

Insecurities derive from many causes other than events in 
history. Early childhood experiences may result in lack of con- 
fidence. Lack of love and early failures at honored enterprises 
such as athletics leave their marks. People differ widely in re- 
gard to inner confidence as they face life. The courage required 
for John to catch a mouse may enable Charles to face a lion. 
The person who recognizes his own insecurities and finds ac- 
ceptable ways to meet the issues of life with courage has spared 
himself and his family or associates the misery of unhappiness 
and perhaps failure. 

When Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not be anxious," he set 
for them a difficult task. Anxiety is the natural response to con- 
ditions of uncertainty. The feeling that something terrible is 
about to happen is common. "Anticipatory neurosis" is a 
whimsical term which could very well apply to the attitudes of 
many beleaguered contemporaries. One may feel anxious be- 



47 



cause he is weak and small in comparison to the people around 
him who appear to be strong, big, and successful. He is nervous 
and troubled about the future. Something may happen to his 
family, to his area, to the nation, to the world, and therefore, 
to him. He may feel that everyone is against him. When con- 
fronted with direct questions about what he fears, he is unable 
to give clear and particular answers. He thinks up specious 
dangers of disease, death, failure, accidents, and various kinds 
of ruin to satisfy himself that the anxiety is valid. His emotions 
will not let him face the stern fact that life is a risk, but that 
people manage to face it. The anxious person is a victim of the 
mood described in the old Irish bull — "There are so many 
troubles between the cradle and the grave that I don't see how 
any body ever gets to the grave." 

Anxieties may spring from submerged fear which is lost to 
conscious awareness. In such a case the person may deal with 
the symptom instead of the true cause of the uneasiness. Some 
hidden fear of failure may lead a man to assign his condition to 
physical illness. Indeed, he may become physically ill. He may 
respond with compulsive overt effort which prompts him to ac- 
cept the opinion of friends that he is "working too hard." He 
may blame his wife, his colleagues, or his luck without recog- 
nizing the source within himself. He may simply feel desolate 
without knowing why. 

Three common grounds for anxiety are fear of death, fear of 
losing love or prestige, and fear of failure. These three sources 
of anxiety correspond to the three basic categories of need com- 
mon to every human being — biological needs, status needs, and 
ego needs. Threats to the realization of these needs may bring 
on anxiety when the threats are persistent at the person's level 
of experience. 

The fear of disease and death are basic to survival. When 
the fear exceeds the danger, however, the result is neurotic un- 
easiness. This condition is so prevalent that clever advertisers 
prey on the public with threats of various illness or infection 
in order to sell patent medicines or particular foods and vita- 



48 



mins. The fear may drive a person into hypochrondria so that 
he sees a cancer in every pimple and a heart attack in every lit- 
tle pain or pulse irregularity. The medical books designed for 
laymen which describe various diseases have probably caused 
more illness than they have cured. There is more wisdom in the 
maxim "The coward dies a thousand deaths; the valiant die 
but one" than is commonly realized. The problem with the 
maxim lies in the fact that the word "coward" is pejorative. 
The fearful man needs understanding more than blame which 
tends to add self-blame to fear. The strength of the maxim lies 
in the emphasis which tends to evoke the hero within a man 
which will buck him up to face death if need be with the quiet 
knowledge that death calls for every man late or soon. An old 
Frenchman made a wise answer when someone asked, "What 
is the mortality rate in France?" He answered "The same as 
always — one to a person." 

The fear of death may fill one with abnormal dread of acci- 
dents. Many people are afraid to venture into a safe ship or boat ; 
many are in terror on an airplane. After his first ride in a plane 
a man remarked, "I didn't let my full weight down all the 
way." The uneasiness of those who ride in motor cars is out of 
proportion to the accident rate — great as that is. Successful 
living requires a person to discipline his fears to fit the dangers 
as nearly as he can. Beyond that he must place himself in the 
gentle arms of God. 

The desire for love and prestige is very strong. It combines 
the wish to be recognized as important to a cherished group 
with the yearning for affection. Threats to one's prestige, there- 
fore, induce fear. The mother who is afraid to let her children 
grow up and go out on their own or the man who fears retire- 
ment is bedeviled with anxiety with reference to status. The 
pathetic remark: "They don't need me any more" is an indica- 
tion of this common uneasiness. There is a certain validity to 
the fear. A corporate executive who has been retired is likely 
to miss his fair-weather friends who clustered about him when 
he was in a position of power to grant or withhold favors. He 



49 



may begin to think of himself as a has-been rather than a person 
with rich experience released to more creative service. Envy 
is the scourge of the status seeker. He may short-circuit his op- 
portunities by trying to hold his competitors back. Misery dogs 
the footsteps of the overambitious who cannot win sufficient 
recognition in the open field. The intemperate interest shown 
by some people for meaningless offices in various clubs or so- 
cieties is an illustration of status striving. Failure brings fear 
and constant failure may bring on chronic feelings of insecurity. 
The quest for popularity on the part of young people is but 
another illustration of the same attitude. Fear of being regarded 
as a wallflower may drive one into erratic behavior which makes 
matters worse. The tendency to conform to the norms of a 
group derives from a wish for love and recognition. The sense 
of anxiety which attends exclusion from the group accounts for 
much youthful unhappiness. 

Fear of failure is also attendant on the need for success and 
personal fulfillment. A child climbs not so much because he is 
going somewhere as to prove to himself he can do it. When he 
forever encounters obstacles too great for him, he may feel 
frustrated and inferior. These feelings may return to him in later 
life when he fails at one thing after another. A young man could 
not bear himself after he had been denied a promotion and, as 
a consequence committed suicide. Inferiority feelings will drive 
a person to desperate measures. The obsession with success so 
evident in American life is associated with the negative motive 
which is fear of failure. The young professional man who finds 
himself outstripped by his college mates may hate himself and 
hate them. He may allow himself to become so fearful of failure 
that he does not dare to undertake even reasonable risks. 

A sensible approach to the problem suggests that a person 
apply himself in areas where he can succeed to a sufficient de- 
gree that he can "keep his nerve." A person who succeeds part 
of the time can bear his share of failures. The destructive fear 
is reduced by a margin of success. Lincoln told the story of a 
prairie fiddler who became interested in the local church be- 



50 



cause of a widow he admired. One night at a prayer meeting 
the man was upset because the widow was praising the marvel- 
ous prayer of Brother Smith. The fiddler revealed both his envy 
and his personal defense with the observation, "I can't pray 
like Brother Smith, but I can fiddle the pants off of him." Suc- 
cess in one field may help a person to accept deficiencies in 
others. 



THE MANAGEMENT OF FEARS 

The first step in handling fear is to accept it as a fact. The 
experience of men in the recent war proved the advantage of 
frank admission that one is afraid. To pretend that one is not 
afraid fools nobody. Good wholesome fear is honorable, and 
courage in the face of danger is noblest when a man stands up 
to the issue in spite of his recognized fear. In the less dramatic 
affairs of life the same principle holds. Let a person admit his 
fear of failure to himself and to God. Let him face the fact that 
he shares the fear of death with most of the human race. When 
he recognizes some of the anxieties that plague his thoughts, 
he will tend to lose them. The honest consideration of the fact 
that he fears loss of prestige will fortify his inner structure. 

The second step for one who would live deliberately is to 
understand his fears to the best of his ability. A person can 
come up with an interesting answer when he asks himself what 
he is really afraid of. If he is genuinely threatened by fear, he 
can relieve it by doing what is possible to remove the danger or 
protect himself against it. If there is no defense, he can follow 
the example of the courageous Greeks of whom Thucydides 
said, "Having done what men could, they endured what men 
must." If, on the other hand, the fear is a general anxiety, it 
can be traced to its basic source. Lost prestige, failure, and even 
death can be faced with better spirit than can the vague and 
mysterious fear that something terrible may happen. The anx- 
iety may be more dreadful than the worst possible eventuality. 



51 



The third step involves scrutiny of the ways in which one has 
learned to adjust to his fears. Since emotional habits are both 
strong and persistent, they cannot be ignored. The range of 
freedom possible to any person is restricted by his characteristic 
patterns of reaction. 

The person who habitually refuses to recognize his anxieties 
is most unfortunate since he faces problems without knowing 
he has them. The unconscious records what his awareness de- 
nies. The fears fester in his inner recesses. They tend to break 
out in disguised forms of bodily reaction or personal behavior. 
Fixations, obsessions, restricted attitudes, nightmares, nervous- 
ness, sleeplessness, or functional disorders may ensue as the fears 
find their devious ways out of the internal dungeons of the per- 
sonality. The person who finds himself in this predicament may 
be ready at long last to face his fears and accept them for what 
they are. This experience may involve some inner crisis. With- 
out courage to confront the demons, however, there is no way 
to deal with them at the level of reason. Escape into daydreams 
can bring no solutions. The demons are less ferocious in the sun- 
light than in the dark. 

Surrender to fear is socially unacceptable. The charge of 
cowardice is leveled at the person who gives way to his fright. 
Civilization has brought with it requirements for courage in the 
face of danger. Whether the threats are imaginary or valid, 
they must be met in such manner that one harboring them will 
not be branded by his associates as "scared," "overly timid," or 
"cowardly," for the censure of society is more painful than the 
fear. Refuge, moreover, is very nearly inaccessible. Primitive 
man could run to his cave, but there is no place to fly from 
death, loss of prestige, or loss of money. Tears or hysterics may 
bring temporary emotional release, but the threats remain. As 
a reaction to fear direct expression has lost its utility in the 
modern world. It is useful in a few situations only. The person 
who has lived by the attitude of expressed fears finds himself 
unable to adjust to the exigencies which are inevitable. Life to- 
day implies its own dangers. They are less physical, but more 



52 



social. An old proverb runs, "He that is afraid of leaves should 
not enter the woods." The person who cannot face the chal- 
lenge of insecurity cannot long meet the issues of life. 

The freewheeling response of expressed fear acted out in flight 
has its psychological advantage. It is the most direct method of 
regaining equilibrium after a fright. There is no residue of un- 
used emotion to turn inward. An animal in the forest can see 
danger, flee to safety, and return to confident feeding. The 
transaction is closed, leaving no problems. Unfortunately, the 
complicated human personality has limited access to this ele- 
mental solution. Robert Burns saw the terrified field mouse in 
stark terror only to envy the creature's good fortune. 

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me! 
The present only toucheth thee; 
But, och ! I backward cast my e'e 

On prospects drear! 
An' forward, though I canna see, 

I guess an' fear! 

— Robert Burns 

Man's problem is to find socially acceptable ways in which he 
can express his emotions without damaging his own security. 
Some degree of expression is possible in the mere recognition 
and acceptance of the fear response. To face danger with cour- 
age is itself a moral equivalent of flight which may bring even 
more emotional release. Our brute inclinations are satisfied by 
fight instead of flight when the possibility of victory attends the 
decision. The sublimation of the tendency to flee from danger 
into alternate avenues which are socially acceptable may be help- 
ful. Instead of running from his fear of failure as a soldier 
Horace withdrew to the field of poetry where he made a lasting 
contribution to Roman letters. 

To suppress fear is socially appropriate but psychologically 
dangerous. The mark of courage may conceal anxieties to one's 
associates only to create inner problems. The house with a hand- 
somely painted facade may collapse because it is infested with 



53 



termites. Simon Peter with his sword appeared one memorable 
night as the paragon of courage only to collapse in moral coward- 
ice before a little serving maid who recognized him as a fol- 
lower of the Nazarene. His profane denial that he had ever 
known his Lord revealed the hypocrisy of his bold assertion 
"Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall 
away." Fear will out. It will dig through sooner or later no mat- 
ter how deeply it is buried. 

The person whose habits are based on suppressing all fears 
may manage to get through life fairly well if no major crisis 
comes to force the issue. A person can stay afloat with a con- 
siderable cargo of anxiety. Some surprising accident, however, 
may threaten the ship which is overloaded. The boy who grows 
up with many insecurities may fear the disgrace of being called 
a sissy more than he fears the normal threats of competition on 
the field or in the alley. He develops the role of a bully in order 
to conceal his fright. He pretends he is afraid of nothing until 
something breaks his protective pose. One defeat may throw him 
into an inner crisis. Enough humility to admit fears will generate 
enough courage to face danger. The tendency to shove each 
quavering out of mind is hard to break. Yet it can be managed 
if a person is willing to devote serious attention to the rewarding 
search for better ways of meeting danger. 

The creative management of fear occurs when one's reason 
gains influence over his emotions. This is accomplished only 
through a lifetime of learning and discipline. It is no more possi- 
ble to give a few simple rules that will enable one to discipline 
fear than it is to provide mastery of the violin by a book of in- 
structions. The art of handling fear is a complicated process of 
coordination which may be animated by a constructive attitude 
based on the following suggestions: 

1 . Face the danger and accept the fact that fears are the com- 
mon lot of man in a contingent world. 

2. Meet the danger with as much insight and resourcefulness 
as experience and the situation will afford. The action tends to 
reduce the emotional charge. 



54 



3. Accept the fact of lingering anxieties and insecurities, but 
try to understand them by looking to their basic cause. 

4. Practice the art of deliberate living by bringing the unruly 
emotions into the co-ordination of thought, feeling, deciding, 
acting, evaluating, and managing. 

5. Set the anxieties in a larger context by calling on the re- 
sources of history, music, dramas, painting, literature, and all 
the rich heritage of the humanities. 

6. Find the final release in the absolute commitment of life 
into the hands of God who is above and beyond the realm of 
petty human striving. 

GUILT 

Sin is a persistent fact that cannot be explained away. Ef- 
forts to dispose of it as mere maladjustment are shallow ration- 
alizations. The clear doctrines of the Judaeo-Christian tradition 
have been confirmed by the experience of 3,000 eventful years. 
No man can face life until he has learned to admit sin. Objec- 
tive evidence and inner experience join with the prophets and 
the apostles to prove our sinfulness. Only the pride of morality 
keeps us from the candid admission of the publican, " 'God, be 
merciful to me a sinner!' " Adam is presented in the Book of 
Genesis as the first of a long line. All guilt cannot be shoved off 
on poor old Adam. There was some discernment in the answer 
of a student who was asked to comment on original sin. He 
wrote, "There is no original sin. They have all been tried." Hu- 
manity goes on its way committing old sins and looking for new 
ones. 

Guilt feelings most frequently are the result of sin. They serve 
to bring inner reproof which works for outer reform. There 
could be no morality and law without a sense of guilt on the 
part of sinners. The problem of guilt feelings, however, lies in 
the fact that they are frequently all out of proportion to the 
transgressions. One person may be overwhelmed with grief at 
some trivial violation of moral standards while another may 



55 



break all the Ten Commandments without much trouble from 
his conscience. One clever playwright defined the voice of con- 
science as "the remorse which comes to one about to be caught." 
Many people, however, suffer the torment of the damned be- 
cause of a persistent sense of guilt which is destructive to happi- 
ness, self-realization, and social usefulness. For these and many 
other reasons it is important for a person to learn how to manage 
the emotions of guilt. The unashamed sinner needs a more im- 
portunate monitor. The guilt-ridden, but harmless, individual 
needs relief from too much self-blame. All need a sense of moral- 
ity, justice, and honor. 

The management of guilt feelings requires a person to face 
the fact of his tendency to sin against God, his fellows, and him- 
self. In the face of his transgressions he must bear the pangs of 
regret and do his best to make amends by repentance, correction, 
and restitution to the best of his abilities and opportunities. The 
sense of forgiveness will relieve the pain of guilt and the experi- 
ence may dissuade him from future transgressions. He must not 
deceive himself by assuming that violation of the known will of 
God is a mere mistake. A person is willing to say, "What a fool 
I was"; but reluctant to say, "I have sinned." Inner peace re- 
quires the full admission. He may be able to dissemble before 
his family and friends; he may be able to put one over on him- 
self; but God is not to be fooled. Inner peace depends upon 
honest confession to God before whom "all hearts are open, all 
desires known." 

Beyond the response of repentance, correction, and reform, 
however, is the problem of accumulated guilt feelings which color 
life and destroy the joy of living. These are the feelings most 
difficult to manage because they tend, like fears, to go under- 
ground. They arise most frequently in experiences which are 
marked with humiliation and shame. A child caught in some 
traumatic experience involving humiliation may carry the shame 
through life, or one who became involved in an accident while 
engaged in an enterprise of disobedience to his parents may find 
his autonomy impaired in mature years. A sensitive youngster 



56 



caught stealing may go through life feeling that everyone regards 
him as a thief even though he conducts himself with honor. An 
overly stern parent may mark a child with an attitude of guilt 
which evokes embarrassment and fear at the most trivial inci- 
dents. The stern parent image is projected to the teacher, the 
boss, the policeman, and even to God. Fear and inferiority feel- 
ings haunt the overscrupulous. He is unable to receive the for- 
giveness and tolerance which are so freely offered. 

A second complicating factor in the handling of guilt feelings 
lies in the fact that almost everyone is torn between conflicting 
moral inclinations. He partly wishes to be good and partly wishes 
to be bad. Even the Apostle Paul cried out in desperation, "I 
do not do what I want." The alcoholic faces this awful problem 
when he comes to feel guilty about wasting his life. He swears 
he will "never touch another drop." Yet his emotions pull him 
into the first swinging door. Everyone has faced moral decisions 
with divided inclinations. Even when he knows full well which 
decision is right, he feels the pull of a fifth column within his 
personality which prefers what he knows to be wrong. There is 
a rebellious streak in human nature which has given validity in 
experience to the person of Satan. The late Billy Sunday was 
asked why he believed in the devil. His ready and candid re- 
sponse was, "Because I have done business with him." 

An accumulation of guilt feelings is inevitable. Nobody can 
really consistently live up to his own standards. Nobody can 
make sufficient restitution for his failures. He may try to keep 
up-to-date, but he is forever falling deeper in debt to himself, 
society, and God. As this sense of moral inadequacy grows, man 
may react in several ways. Moral pride may lead him to feel he 
has done no wrong. In this case he has suppressed his guilt with 
the result that he must build up a vast charge of underground 
emotion. The modern techniques of brainwashing take full ad- 
vantage of this condition. Constant and sustained badgering fi- 
nally breaks down pride, and the person confesses to all sorts of 
guilty actions. The vague reservoir of unforgiven guilt provides 
the condition necessary to such a response. The pretense to self- 



57 



righteousness on the part of nations is but another illustration of 
moral pride. The citizens of each country feel that they are all 
good while their challengers are all bad. Upon defeat or tragedy, 
however, the collective sense of guilt may bring in this sort of 
circumstance. A little jingle gives a whimsical expression to 
moral pride: 

In matters controversial 

My perception is quite fine. 

I always see two points of view — 

The one that's wrong, and mine. 

When a person puts forth an effort to understand his anxieties 
due to guilt, it is well for him to consider the common inclination 
to brood over past sins. Parents who go through life torturing 
themselves for real or fancied wrongs against their children are 
on every hand. A husband or wife may feel guilty for thoughts 
or actions against a mate. Even death of the spouse may bring 
no relief. Grief is often deepened by a sense of guilt. Children 
often feel guilty for death wishes against a parent. While this 
sort of ambivalent attitude is normal, the child may not know it. 
Every child partly loves and partly hates his parents. Even a 
tender mother feels at times as if she could choke her little dar- 
ling. Later she repents of her mood and feels guilty. With no 
understanding of this normal reaction she may feel like a miser- 
able sinner for her thoughts. If a person broods over past sins, 
he is unable to meet new problems with complete awareness, 
and his relations are unnecessarily complicated. The words of the 
Lord's Prayer, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors," 
might very well be applied to the debts of guilt. One must learn 
to forgive himself before he can accept forgiveness and forgive 
others. One cannot forgive himself until he is willing to recog- 
nize himself as a sinner along with all of humankind. 

A person may avoid the real encounter of handling guilt feel- 
ings by reaction to the consequences of sin rather than to the sin 
itself. In this case he translates his guilt emotions into fear of 
consequences. He is afraid of being caught but not afraid of 



58 



wrongdoing. The unexpressed fear, however, accumulates as 
certainly as guilt feelings. When he is forced by circumstance to 
stand up to the facts of his reprehensibility, he is doubly damned 
by a confluence of fear and shame. His fears have been realized 
and he is forced to recognize that he is guilty as well. There is a 
basic truth to the statement of Moses: "Be sure your sins will 
find you out." The only solution is a disciplined response to the 
facts of conscience and morality. An old French proverb sums 
up the point: "The guilt and not the scaffold makes the shame." 

The Sermon on the Mount is the supreme compendium of 
wisdom with reference to the issues of life. It deals with the prob- 
lem of guilt in the Beatitude: "Blessed are they that hunger and 
thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." A genuine 
appetite for righteousness is the basis for managing guilt. It saves 
one from many difficulties by avoiding the sins which bring re- 
morse. It enables a person to shed his past mistakes in an avid 
search for contemporary and future goodness. It provides a clue 
to self-forgiveness by identifying oneself with his positive pursuit 
for the worthy and honorable rather than the negative virtue of 
avoiding wrong. Best of all it brings the powerful emotion of 
love to bear on the relations of life in such a way that a person 
is able to accept forgiveness for himself while forgiving others. 

There is no easy way to bring guilt emotions under control. 
A full confession might be good for the soul but bad for the 
reputation. There is relief for the person who suffers remorse if 
he can tell the whole story and reduce his inner pressure even 
if it hurts him severely to bear the shame. The social penalties, 
however, may make this method of release unsatisfactory, for 
there are sins which society will condone as long as they are not 
made public. Even the public morality considers being caught 
somewhat more blameworthy than secret sins. The person suf- 
fering from conscience and needing to confess his sins to get 
relief finds himself unable to tell the full story without jeopard- 
izing his social standing. In many cases another person or sev- 
eral persons are involved. If he confesses his own guilt, he im- 
plicates other people which he feels he has no right to do. For 



59 



example, a person who has become involved in adultery regrets 
the sin, discontinues the practice, and may feel a vast burden 
of guilty remorse along with a need to confess the sin to the 
injured mate. Yet if he tells his mate, he brings vast unhappi- 
ness on her and, at the same time, betrays his accomplice. It is 
better for him to burn in his own smoke than to make others 
suffer for his sins. Let him confess to God who will understand 
and forgive. He can better make amends by a subsequent life of 
honor than by hurting others in an effort to relieve his own 
guilt anxieties. 

The management of guilt like the management of fear needs 
the art of disciplined emotions, since expression, suppression, 
and repression are all unsatisfactory. This art is long and may 
involve some stress. The valiant go forth with the courage of 
humility to make atonement for their sins by nobler actions 
derived from a whetted appetite for righteousness. The com- 
bined resources of the humanities stand ready to contribute 
their treasures of inner peace. The guilt set forth in Macbeth 
or the penitential Psalms may set the passion in a more tolerable 
light. The co-ordination of a mind devoted to truth, a heart 
committed to love, and a life of trust in God is the hope of an 
honorable life with inner peace. The divine resource of the 
Father in heaven who loves sinners and forgives their sins is 
the ultimate security of everyman. 

LUST 

Lust is more than appetite, it is an overweening appetite 
linked with fear of losing the objects of appetite. The baby 
needs a pacifier because the desire to eat exceeds the need for 
food. Adults smoke, chew gum, or overeat for the same reason. 
Any of the human appetites can outrun their corresponding 
needs. This surplus of desire linked with fear of incompetence 
to obtain satisfactions brings on the attitude commonly called 
lust or greed. The tendency for overreaching oneself to obtain 
unnecessary satisfaction may bring on emotional problems of 



60 



frustration. The greedy impulse is never satisfied, with the re- 
sult that the desire accumulates into emotional charges of anx- 
iety and thwarted efforts. 

The four major lusts of contemporary people are directed 
toward power, possessions, love, and honor or acclaim. They 
appear to some extent in nearly every personality. The insecuri- 
ties which nourish them are developed in early childhood and 
enhanced by subsequent experience. The remark, "People are 
never satisfied," reflects the ubiquity of lust. Every person has 
some awareness of desires which exceed necessity. A clever 
Chautauqua lecturer asked his audience one night: "Is any one 
here completely satisfied? I'll give $10 to anyone who is com- 
pletely satisfied." After a brief interval one man raised his hand. 
The lecturer asked, "Why, then, do you wish the $10?" 

The lust for power is apparent in the lowly and the mighty 
alike. Nobody is content with his influence, control, strength, 
or position. The fears of being small, weak, and inferior seem to 
drive people to extremes of activity and unfulfilled longings. 
Ambition is a common example of a drive for power. A young 
person aims toward the highest office with an insatiable drive. 
When he becomes governor of a state, he has his eye on the 
White House; when he becomes a division superintendent, he 
starts eyeing the presidency of the corporation. Shakespeare has 
drawn vivid portraits of ambition in his Julius Caesar and 
Richard III. The latter play is classic for illustrating the lust for 
power, since it combines the motives of self-hatred, inferiority, 
sadism, and ruthless ambition. The withered hand and shrunken 
limb together with childhood experiences of humiliation and 
frustration drive the young Duke of Gloucester to bloody mur- 
ders, lies, conspiracies, and treachery in an effort to win the 
crown. 

Competition is another experience of the will to power. Like 
ambition it is a good thing unless it gets out of hand. The child 
who does not learn to compete in games or studies is poorly 
equipped to stand up to life. The competitive struggle is the 
basis of a successful economy. When the competitive inclination, 



61 



however, drives one into cheating or ruthless means of winning 
at any cost, the desire is perverse. When failure to compete suc- 
cessfully brings on a sense of failure or a tendency to withdraw 
completely, the drive is self-defeating. The lust for power be- 
comes destructive when it provokes a person to beat down his 
fellows in order to raise himself, or when it creates an inner sense 
of utter worthlessness in one who can scarcely keep up. Emo- 
tional temptation to use fair means or foul when the struggle is 
intense produces the ; 'bully" in sports or the ruthless tycoon in 
business. A person may resort to treachery in politics, love, sports, 
or any other activity. These temptations must be handled in such 
a way that the urge is channeled into creative and honorable 
action. 

The urge to dominate one's associates is still another expres- 
sion of the lust for power. Some persons are restless and un- 
happy unless they can grab command. The "rule or ruin" mem- 
ber of any group is a familiar example. Bertrand Russell once 
commented that about ninety per cent of the people in the 
world would be God if they could, while about two per cent 
have never been able to admit the impossibility. Anxiety over 
weakness along with desire for greatness brings on the tragedy 
of what the Greeks called hybris. It is the lust for power. 

Lust may center in possessions. The mad scramble for "keep- 
ing up with the Joneses," and for accumulating vast hordes of 
wealth coupled with anxiety over having less than someone else 
may very well reflect this appetite. It is good to possess as much 
of the world's goods as one can if his sense of responsibility 
matches his holdings. The danger to society lies in the dictator 
who drives madly toward ruling the world or the little person 
whose greed far excels his ability to earn honorably. The person 
who wants everything in sight might learn a lesson from Socrates 
who loved to walk through the marketplace of Athens because 
he saw so manv things he did not want. 

The inordinate greed for material things is partly related to 
lust for power and prestige. The person who has not values the 
objects of his interest far more than the person who has. Many 



62 



people of wealth would gladly escape their positions in favor of 
simplicity if any clear way were open. Power may bring more 
corruption than happiness, and prestige causes many persons 
of wealth to under consume, conspicuously to avoid the social pres- 
sures of envious neighbors. A reasonable view of possessions 
would indicate that many cherished objects are overvalued. Com- 
fort, for example, is far less desirable than most people imagine. 
One can buy only so much of it until satiety brings on the bilious 
sickness of Galsworthy's White Monkey who looked around at 
the numerous banana skins in utter disgust as he rubbed his 
aching belly. Possessions soon reach a point of diminishing re- 
turns wherein the owner becomes the owned. 

Conversely, the person who has but little may be more damned 
with the lust for possession than the person who has much. In 
this case the lust is more deadly than the possession. The tragedy 
of rich men jumping from windows rather than face poverty 
illustrates the curse of emotional involvement in acquiring vast 
wealth. Social climbers, hangers-on, pretenders, those who envy 
and begrudge are casualties of the lust for possession. They are 
smitten with a deadly pride. Wisdom lies in the philosophical 
remark of the old farmer who saw his dog chasing a train, "I 
wonder what he would do with it if he caught it? ;; The same 
could be said of many avid suitors of Lady Fortune. 

ANGER 

Dr. Karl Menninger offers the opinion that the first cry of 
a baby may derive from an emotion of anger. Some people go 
through life with the same pattern of response — angry at every- 
thing and everybody. The human organism strives to obtain its 
objectives. When anbody or anything interferes, an occasion 
for anger arises. 

The response of anger is closely akin to the response of fear. 
Action takes precedence over thought when one is angry. This 
natural response is essential for the provision of additional 
strength in a crisis. Man comes well equipped for combat. The 



63 



emotional management problems derive from the fact that 
people tend to become angry at inappropriate times and in un- 
acceptable ways. The response may be out of proportion to the 
provocation. The frustration of the impulse tends to create 
lasting hostilities which in turn create new problems. 

Four principal causes of anger are frustration, injustice, 
injured pride, and challenge to one's interests. Anyone who has 
driven an automobile in heavy traffic when he is late for an 
important appointment knows frustration. Large trucks on a 
long hill where the highway is marked with double lines may 
provoke the hurried motorist to futile anger. A person is 
thwarted vocationally by his own limitations or mistakes, or 
by external circumstances. The young executive who is eager 
to rise may respond with anger when someone else gets the 
promotion he has cherished. A golfer may smash a club which 
refuses to remove the ball from the sand trap. A woman may 
resent the crowd that keeps her from the counter where she 
hoped to obtain a hat at a bargain price. A person may feel 
that the demands of his family prevent him from realizing his 
ambitions. A student may blame the professor who gives him 
a low grade when entrance to professional school requires a 
high one. A young person may react with anger against the 
social restraints which require him to dress and act in ways 
differing from his preferences. Frustrating experiences are uni- 
versal and frequent. 

Injustice tends to stimulate anger — especially any injustice 
or fancied injustice to oneself or persons dear to oneself. The 
person who feels he has been cheated is likely to be angry. The 
person who sees another succeed where he has failed may react 
heatedly if he feels the situation is unfair. The collective hostility 
of underprivileged groups of people is a result of a sense of 
injustice which may or may not be founded on fact. The ten- 
sions of South Africa or Alabama and Tennessee are persistent 
illustrations. A child who feels less loved than his brother or 
sister may respond with anger which hardens into hatred. When 
a person feels wronged on numerous occasions, he may become 



64 



petulant to the point of generalized hostility so that he is forever 
suspicious that someone is attempting to cheat him. Human 
life is set in a world where much injustice is inevitable. Toler- 
ance and understanding are more satisfactory solutions to the 
incurable problems of injustice than hostility and aggressions. 

Injured pride evokes anger. An army major is not pleased 
when he is addressed as lieutenant. Mrs. Wealthy returned to 
Dallas after shopping in New York. She was most unhappy. 
When a friend inquired why she disliked New York, she 
answered with delightful candor, "When I go into Neiman 
Marcus the clerks all say, 'Good morning, Mrs. Wealthy, what 
can I show you this morning?' but after a long wait in Bergdorf 
Goodman's a clerk came up to me with the condescending 
remark, 'All right, Madame, what do you want?' " A masterful 
handling of injured pride is reported in an incident at the 
Court of St. James. The late Rufus Choate was the United 
States Ambassador, and a titled gentleman of easy arrogance 
mistook him for a servant and addressed him thus: "Will you 
call me a cab?" The Ambassador responded with a smile, "You 
are a cab, Sir." In some outrage the insulted Lord reported the 
insult to his host who pointed out the fact that Choate was 
no servant, but the Ambassador from The United States. With 
abject manner the remorseful gentleman asked the Ambassa- 
dor's pardon. Rufus Choate said good naturedly, "Since you 
have apologized, I must say you are a handsome cab, Sir!" 

Anger is a natural response to injured interest. The friendly 
dog may bite the hand of his master if the master takes his 
dinner from him. Hatred for the government which taxes one's 
property is not unusual. The girl who has selected a charming 
young man as her future mate may pull the hair of another 
girl who attempts to win his favor. An officer in a corporation, 
club, college, government, or any other group may be angry 
if someone usurps the authority which he claims. A man with 
many cherished apples on his trees resents a trespasser. It is 
interesting to note how easily the executive nearing retirement 
resents the well-trained young man who threatens to replace 



65 



him. The anger at repeated incidents which are construed as 
threats to his interest may harden into complete hostility which 
can see no good in the young rival. The youngster, on the other 
hand, may hate his senior executive for being in the way of his 
advancement. Much interpersonal hostility is a result of anger 
derived from threats to personal interest. 

The most natural and effective way of handling wrath is to 
work off the emotional charge in full and free attack. The 
angry person who can blow his top and beat the offender over 
the head with a stick will probably feel pity and pick up the 
injured adversary. Unfortunately, we live in a world where 
people object to being beaten over the head for the relief of 
another person's feelings. Moreover, we have social customs, 
laws, and enforcement officers who forbid it. The free and 
direct expression of anger is quite impossible in a civilized 

society. 

Since free expression of wrath is completely unacceptable to 
society, if not impossible to the individual, it is axiomatic that 
every person must carry some cumulative charge of unexpressed 
anger. Inner hostilities are, therefore, almost universal. The 
management of anger involves not only disciplined emotions to 
meet the response of wrath but also an effective discipline of the 
emotions with reference to inner aggressiveness, hostility, and 
hate coupled with fear. The problem is still more complicated 
by the fact that hostilities tend to feed on themselves until the 
hostile person hates himself. It is the old fable of the Spartan 
who stole a fox and hid it under his tunic. When he was about 
to be caught, he stood bravely at attention even though the 
fox was gnawing at his vitals. Hidden anger is a vicious fox 
which devours the person who conceals it. Hidden anger will 
eventually break through. It may assume the disguise of sleep- 
lessness, insecurity, self-torture, guilt, sadism, or aggressiveness, 
but anger will out. Repression is poor advice for the angry 
person no matter how good it may seem to society and to the 
person at whom his wrath is directed. 

Anger has a way of confusing its objects. The man who tries 



66 



to drive a nail in the wall and hits his thumb may kick the cat. 
A forest ranger accidentally shot a mother grizzly bear with 
an air rifle designed for birds. When the harmless pellet stung 
her side, the mother bear slapped her two cubs off the log on 
which they were crossing the stream. Anger is not too careful 
about its objects. It lashes out blindly. 

The social consequences of anger are so distasteful that many 
persons meet a provocative situation with a complete denial 
of the angry reaction. Wrath is not only suppressed — it is shoved 
completely out of the awareness. Repressed anger is far worse 
than a fox in the tunic. It is an internal infection of the person- 
ality, more deadly because it is more hidden and mysterious. 
The young wife who is oversolicitous toward her mother who 
lives with her may sincerely believe she has only love for her 
mother, although a skilled observer will sense evidence of deep 
unconscious hate. The teacher who hates her pupils without 
knowing it may be suffering from the repressed anger of her 
earlier years. The worker who hates all employers with dim 
awareness of his attitudes may be deceiving himself because of 
the hostilities he feels toward his superiors but dares not admit 
even to himself. Much of the struggle between labor and 
management has roots in psychological factors quite apart from 
the economic considerations which are up for debate. 

Even sublimated wrath has its problems. To work off the hot 
words or aggressive impulses in hard work or hard play is 
certainly better than to give free rein to one's feelings. Such 
socially acceptable handling of angry feelings is far better than 
driving them underground to return later in more vicious forms. 
The problem, however, lies in the fact that such sublimation 
is frequently incomplete. A person can get temporary relief 
in violent exercise only to find the lingering emotions still with 
him when he becomes rested. Lashing out at a golf ball may 
bring temporary relief but it is not quite the emotional equiva- 
lent of lashing out at the person who inspired the hot impulse. 
Sublimation by means of feverish activities and compulsive 
alcohol or drugs are leveled at symptoms rather than causes. 



67 



The Sermon on the Mount gives the formula for the disci- 
pline of anger. Christ shows the danger of all wrath. " 'Every 
one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; 
whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and 
whoever says, "You fool!" shall be liable to the hell of fire/ ' : 
(Matthew 5:22) All anger is dangerous because it is the in- 
cipient motive of murder. The Lord, therefore, gives the counsel, 
"Do not be angry." The best way to discipline wrath is to avoid 
it, for once anger is awakened, it is difficult to overcome. The 
first step in handling the emotion is to discourage it by using 
pacifying responses in situations which might generate heat. 
Lincoln's magnanimous response to the provocations of Stanton 
illustrates the love and good humor which can replace anger 
for the person who has trained his feelings. One day a messenger 
returned to the President after delivering a message to Stanton. 
The obvious embarrassment of the messenger told Lincoln that 
the cabinet member had reacted unfavorably. The President 
asked the lad, "Did you deliver my message to Mr. Stanton?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"What did Mr. Stanton say?" 

"I'd rather not tell you." 

"I must know Mr. Stanton's reaction." 

"He threw your message to the floor and said you are a fool." 
Lincoln smiled and said, "Well, if Mr. Stanton thinks I'm a 
fool, I must be one, because Mr. Stanton is nearly always 

right." 

Jesus not only set for us the ideal of avoiding anger, he also 
gave us the example of how to use it when we must. His willing- 
ness to drive the moneychangers from the temple shows the 
power of wrath when the occasion demands it. Anger is effective 
only if used sparingly. On appropriate and rare occasions, the 
power of uninhibited anger can be very great. The lawyer 
before the jury; the statesmen before the council; the executive 
with the board of directors or before the employees; the teacher 
in the classroom; or the sportsman in the field knows the strength 
of well-timed heat. Only the cultivated emotions can utilize 



68 



the might of expressed anger in such a way that it does good 
rather than harm. 

The Sermon on the Mount goes beyond the principle of 
merely avoiding anger. The Lord shows his disciples how they 
can overcome hate with love. The person whose unused wrath 
has hardened into hostility is not without hope of disciplined 
living. He can "love [his] enemies, do good to those who hate 
[him]." This is far from weakness. It is a counsel of unlimited 
power. The person who loves can stand up to his angry foe 
with a quiet strength which is the essence of triumph. The 
effect of this attitude on the one who has developed it is even 
greater than its strength with the opposition. The love which 
Christ had for those who slew him not only defeated their low 
purposes but revealed the love of God revealed in him. Defeat 
for one who loves with godly intelligence may be itself the victor)' 
over the dilemma of hot conflict or cold hatred. It is frequently 
the practical approach to victor)' in any truly worthy venture. 

Sooner or later almost every person must learn how to treat 
an enemy. To give in to him is to encourage evil and jeopardize, 
if not abandon, a just cause. To contend with him inconclu- 
sively may create inner problems. If he is a first-class enemy 
who roundly deserves full-scale antipathy, he may serve to relieve 
inner tensions by providing a just object for hostile and aggres- 
sive emotions. The struggle can be lifted to the level of high- 
grade competition if one can avoid the low inclination to 
murder and the weak inclination to surrender. The disciplined 
contender can learn the art of meeting the issues that underlie 
the feelings in such a way that even antagonisms can serve 
both social and psychological good. This is the high sportsman- 
ship of life based on enlightened love. The Lord met the issue 
of pharisaical biogtry with resourcefulness and strength. The 
heritage of art is replete with indications that enemies can be 
cherished. Michelangelo in his later years handled his wrath 
by painting an abiding portrait of his enemy in hell. It was a 
much better method than assault. Even personal enmities can 
be managed. 



69 



LOVE 

The word "love" suffers from overuse. It means so many 
things that it has frequently degenerated to the level of no 
meaning at all. It will be limited here to the strong feelings 
of affection which accompany a person's reaching toward, and 
concern for, other persons or objects. It is an emotional response 
which is both universal and necessary. It has biological bases 
in the human organism which involve the entire structure and 
function of the body. It appears to be more powerful than any 
other emotion, and constitutes the basic motive in the continuity 
of life. The figure of a mother animal facing death for the 
protection of her young illustrates its triumph over fear. Love 
is often thwarted and never completely fulfilled. Its various 
moods and expressions are beyond all comprehension. 

The management of affection is both impossible and neces- 
sary. The strength and complexity of the emotion place it 
beyond the powers of reason to manage while the massive im- 
portance of love for the conduct of life requires that it must be 
brought under the influence of reason for purposes of morality 
and human happiness. As a result of this paradoxical situation, 
a person is confronted with the problem of compromise between 
love and reason. Paul Tillich in Love, Power, and Justice de- 
fined love as "the drive towards the unity of the separated." 
The subjective emotional aspect of this drive challenges a person 
to the most creative and resourceful art of disciplined living 
known to man. 

Since everyone comes into this world equipped for loving 
and since nobody can live without giving and receiving love, 
it is essential to attempt to handle the emotion in some satis- 
factory manner. If a person can really master the art of intel- 
ligent loving, he has mastered the art of life. The disciplined 
emotion of affections directs all other feelings, interests, and 
activities. Man is, finally, the consequence of what he loves. 



70 



ROMANTIC LOVE 

When a person falls in love, something very powerful and 
complicated has happened to him. His attention is mobilized 
on a certain person so that he sees and experiences everything 
in relation to that person. This response develops with the first 
signs of maturity. Puppy love is an important developing experi- 
ence for the later expressions of romance. As a young person 
matures, he finds an even more complete identification of him- 
self with the object of his love. The social customs of America 
have given a place of predominance to romantic love in the 
selection of a life mate. The process of dating and romantic 
attachments may develop some heartbreaks since the deep senti- 
ment of love can be very painful. However, the heart sinews 
toughen with experiences of unrequited love, providing there 
is growing insight. 

The frustrated affection which attends a broken romance 
may create some stress, but young people learn to meet the 
issue in one way or another. The danger of an unsatisfactory 
marriage on the rebound is always present, and brooding self- 
blame can be mildly destructive. The person who has several 
love affairs must learn how to "fall out of love" for his inner 
peace. He generally accomplishes this objective by attention to 
other interests such as hard work or group social life. The heart 
has a tendency to follow the mind if the mind has a clear and 
convincing program and the heart has a lifetime for readjust- 
ment. 

The first principle in wooing is to arrange for unhurried 
opportunities of fellowship. The cultivation of romantic love 
proceeds on the basis of enthusiasm, irritation, and understand- 
ing. The first interest in one another tends to be exhilarating. 
Then come the inevitable irritations. Each finds out that the 
other differs from his own image of what the person is. If the 
irritations are strong enough, the romance ends. If the interest 
can outlive the disenchantments until each accepts the other, 
understanding ensues. 



71 



The second principle in love culture is that the person who 
takes the initiative tends to develop the stronger emotion. The 
wooer falls more deeply in love than the wooed. The giver 
deepens his love with the gift while the receiver may have no 
notable change in feeling. In case of unrequited love the one 
who cares simply increases his problem by falling deeper and 
deeper as he attempts to win the other's affection. 

The third principle is based on the natural difference between 
the genders. The masculine emotion tends to be situational 
with an interest in companionship and personal enjoyment. He 
feels more complete and more of a man in the presence of his 
sweetheart. His basic drives are more direct and less complex. 
The feminine feelings tend toward matrimony, and the involved 
emotions are channeled toward security and fulfillment in a 
domestic way. 

The mature person makes decisions that stick. After the altar 
comes the life of mutual companionship and responsibility. This 
may involve considerable management of those affectionate 
feelings which could lure the person to extramarital affairs. 
The less than mature person may feel that he is really in love 
with someone other than his spouse. The wisdom of human 
relations has developed ways of controlling such wayward in- 
clinations by devoting the surplus love to creative and con- 
structive ends through interest in vocational, family, com- 
munity, church, and social relations and service. 

When a person becomes involved in a love affair outside 
his marriage, he has a substantial problem requiring some 
courage on his part. The first step toward correction lies in 
looking for the best in his own partner. The second is to lavish 
the love-inspiring thoughts and interests on the mate instead 
of on the paramour. The third is to play the role of a cou- 
rageous and mature person who has made a lifelong decision. 
The problem is not easy, but it can be managed. The responsi- 
bilities of family, society, and religion cannot be brushed aside. 
They must be accepted and maintained and the unruly emo- 
tions of wandering love must be disciplined. 



72 



Forgiveness is one of the noblest expressions of love. There 
is no real love without magnanimous forgiveness. Love bears 
no grudges. The slight inflicted by a dearly loved one carries 
great pain, yet generous love can cover the injury. Even great 
wrong involving disloyalty can be forgiven. Romney, the 
painter, deserted his lowborn wife when fortune smiled on him. 
In his last illness, when he was once again penniless and alone, 
she took him back and nursed him to the end. True love has 
boundless power to forgive which is more than sentimentality. 
It is the quality of redeeming loyal love which is fully aware 
of evil, cruelty or treason, yet able to find the fitting deed of 
atonement. 

Romantic love does not expire with the urges and appetites of 
youth. The golden mellow love of advancing years has its own 
strength and influence. The harvest of understanding which 
marks life's autumn has the same quality of youthful romance 
ripened by experience. The loves of older people require their 
own kind of discipline. They tend to grow possessive or over- 
dependent. The person who has learned in youth to give and 
receive love with its rich implications of generosity and forgive- 
ness can find the rare joys of mature romance as the years 
advance. The happy marriages of older people who have been 
widowed are numerous and beautiful. Maturity can reveal 
various meanings obscured to youth by their fierce appetites. 

The management of romantic impulses of later years requires 
a careful hedge against sentimentality. Many mistakes can be 
avoided by recourse to reason at an age which allows reason 
to speak. The habits and attitudes of maturity are less easily 
modified than those of early life. Reason can dissuade the lonely 
widow or widower from an unfortunate relationship which 
would bring unhappiness to everyone concerned. The person 
who assumes that a new mate will have or develop the qualities 
of a former spouse may face disappointment. Desolate loneliness 
may be better than regret. A reasonable decision, however, may 
bring shining happiness. 



73 



PARENTAL AND FILIAL LOVE 

Ernest Ligon has developed the persuasive idea that fatherly 
love provides the ideal emotional pattern for all human rela- 
tions. 2 The Judaeo-Christian tradition has established this 
pattern in the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God. The ideal 
relationship between God and man is the paternal-filial re- 
lationship which involves attitudes of fatherly love with the 
implied response of filial attitudes. Dr. Ligon has shown that 
this attitude of fatherly love provides an ideal pattern for every 
person in his relations with other people, whether it be in the 
area of vocation, fellowship, community, home, or indeed any- 
where. 

The truly happy family is one in which mother, father, son, 
and daughter have developed the attitude of fatherly love so 
that the emotional response is expressed in the ideal pattern 
of seeking the best interest of the others even though it may 
bring some pain on occasion. This ideal relationship is beyond 
most people's ability to achieve on account of the corruption 
brought about by insistent ego-interests. The person who wants 
his own way cannot easily see things from another person's 
viewpoint. The tensions within families generally arise because 
of egocentricity. The parent finds it difficult to imagine the 
inner attitudes of a young person who has reached the age at 
which he must achieve independence from his parents. Some- 
time between the middle teens and middle twenties a son or 
daughter goes through a period of rebellion. This is a normal 
reaction in our culture, and is connected with the achievement 
of autonomy. Apron strings must be severed if a person is to 
lead a life of personal responsibility. The rebellious youngster 
is not likely to have a well-developed imaginative conception 
of the feelings which influence his parents. Only when he has 
a child of his own, will he fully understand. For these and many 
other reasons the cultivation of fatherly love is a difficult proc- 

a Cf. The Psychology of Christian Personality (New York: The Macmlllan Company, 
1947). 



74 



ess. The rewards are nonetheless worthy of the effort involved. 
A happy family is goal enough to lift one above his egocentric 
interests to a nobility of sentiment. 

The blind self-centeredness of parents tends to reproduce 
itself in the children. Selfishness begets selfishness. The hostili- 
ties, lusts, fears, guilt feelings, and loves are mirrored in their 
children. The powerful attitudes of parents may inspire inverted 
attitudes in a child. Strong fathers who dominate a home may 
beget weak sons who are full of ingrown hostilities, guilt feelings, 
or a sense of inferiority. An overindulgent mother may nurture 
a daughter who is overdemanding. 

Where there is love enough, all problems can be faced and 
handled. Boundless good will can cover a multitude of mistakes. 
A child can accept discipline if there is love behind it. A parent 
can tolerate rebellion when the love shines through the youth- 
ful hostility. 

The discipline of parental love requires a person to let his 
children have freedom to be themselves. The advice to parents 
to "Love them; set them a good example, and let them alone" 
should also include "Counsel with them." The balance which 
is desirable avoids overprotection on the one hand and neglect 
on the other. Love does not give a child a hunting license to 
play the bandit, nor does it mean a hedge of restrictions which 
leave the child frustrated. The good parent loves with a 
gardener's eye — never attempting to mold a child to an alien 
pattern. Children are people — precious people who deserve 
the boundless security of a parent who loves intelligently. 

The pattern of fatherly love is appropriate beyond the family 
for all the relations of friendship and co-operation in the com- 
plicated interactions of life. The understanding executive and 
the loyal workman alike are dependent upon the feelings derived 
from experiences in the family for that quality of consideration 
which provides character. The statesman performs his function 
best when his motives are grounded in love. There is nothing 
soft or sentimental about intelligent good will. The kindliness 
of a physician with his patients or a lawyer with his clients 



75 



is rooted in this emotion. A teacher who lacks fatherly love 
is both ineffective and unworthy. Furthermore, the attitude of 
patient, client, or pupil in turn are more honorable and produc- 
tive of good when this pattern is reciprocal. 



NEIGHBORLY LOVE 

The biblical doctrine of neighborly love carries the implica- 
tion of emotions of good will disciplined to include all mankind 
with special consideration for the person who needs help. The 
parable of the good Samaritan implies that anyone who needs 
help is the neighbor worthy to be loved as one's self. This is a 
far cry from sentimentality. To love one's neighbors as one's 
self requires the most accurate estimate of the honorable and 
helpful way to act toward him. Even a police officer can throw 
a lawbreaker in jail with an attitude of just neighborly love. 
Shakespeare presents Brutus as stabbing Julius Caesar with 
a feeling of tragic love which saw no other way to preserve 
Roman freedom. It is scarcely credible that the purges of Mos- 
cow are carried out on this basis. Hate is forever striving to 
overpower neighborly love in human affairs. The Inquisition 
shows how hate can masquerade as love, yet the Christian 
virtue of neighborliness continues to assert itself in the most 
astonishing and effective ways. Without its quiet witness there 
would be no hospitals and colleges, community funds or social 
services. 

There can be no freedom from brutal and genocidal war until 
this attitude of neighborly love predominates. Theories that 
attempt to explain war on the basis of economics, politics, or 
geography are all inadequate. War is possible only on the basis 
of hatred. Lasting peace depends on changed people who have 
learned the high art of neighborly love which combines justice 
with good will and provides an effective antidote for the hos- 
tilities which make war possible. Industrial peace depends on 
the same quality of disciplined emotion. All human relations 



76 



require neighborly love if conflict is to be rendered creative 
instead of destructive. 



LONELINESS 

The need for love often begets loneliness. This powerful emo- 
tion can shatter human happiness and bring on a chain reaction 
of complicating attitudes. The person who is hungry for love, 
but does not feel loved, may translate the sense of loneliness 
into guilt or inferiority — perhaps even hate. The loneliness may 
be the result of insufficient affection on the part of those who 
matter or it may be the result of inability to accept the love 
which is offered because of complications arising from other 
feelings. It may derive from excessive need for love brought on 
by fear of abandonment. The feelings, however, are equally 
dismal and depressing regardless of the source. 

A person may feel most alone in the midst of a crowd. There 
are lonely men in high offices and lonely women in prosperous 
suburbia. The loneliness of youth may take the form of attempts 
at bravado to cover up the desolate feelings. A person can feel 
desperately lonely in a context which appears to provide the 
maximum in affectionate regard. Another person may experi- 
ence no loneliness in a situation which would seem unbearable 
to the casual observer. A lighthouse keeper who seldom sees 
another human may feel none of the desolation which the on- 
looker would attribute to him. A sense of difference in an age 
of conformity, a sense of guilt in a context of moralisms, a 
sense of weakness in a group that honors strength are all oc- 
casions which tend to inspire the feelings of being alone and 
unloved. 

The management of loneliness involves a process of building 
up resistance to the feelings by compensatory activities and 
attitudes. This is difficult, but definitely possible under most 
circumstances. A person who feels lonely in one group can find 
sufficient fellowship in other groups to enable him to carry on. 



77 



A person who feels lonely because he is different can learn to 
accept the difference, and sometimes even to cherish it. Prob- 
lems of stature or physical handicaps can be turned to an 
emotional as well as a practical advantage, at least to the end 
that they are no longer emotional problems. The blind man 
who sorts clothing in a laundry by his highly developed sense 
of smell or the man with artificial hands whose work is re- 
moving hot pies from an oven are illustrations of people who 
have turned handicaps into achievements. 

Seeking to give love rather than to receive it is perhaps the 
best way to overcome feelings of isolation. The lonely executive 
who finds himself unable to enjoy the fellowship of his col- 
leagues for vocational reasons may find an opportunity to make 
an amazing contribution to his own family which has been 
shortchanged by his commitments of time and attention to the 
business world. The sure cure for feelings of loneliness is to 
give love in generous measure. It returns a hundredfold. 

A certain amount of loneliness can be borne. If a person 
knows he is making a contribution to the life of the world, he 
can go forward even though he seems alone. This, of course, 
requires courage. Some unpleasant inner experiences must be 
borne with patience. If a person is able to keep going even 
though his heart is occasionally heavy, he develops attitudes 
of persistence which refuse to give up in the face of either loss 
of love or lack of love. The fact that one essential object of love 
is God and that the only source of love which really matters 
is God can enable a thoughtful person to go it alone when 
necessary. The little girl afraid of the dark wanted someone 
to stay with her. Her mother said, "God is in there with you." 
"Yes," answered the youngster, "but I want somebody in the 
family." God is the most important member of any family — 
especially the family of mankind. 



78 



WITH THE 
WHOLE MIND 



Intelligence is a gift. A person can manage what he has, 
but he cannot increase his supply. Our best information seems 
to indicate that the level of intellectual capacity is relatively 
constant throughout life. A low IQ, however, like an unattrac- 
tive face, can be displayed in an appealing manner. The fact 
that nobody utilizes his mind to the full gives abundant oppor- 
tunity for the less gifted to outstrip the improvident genius. 
Some of the greatest heroes in history have been people of 
moderate intelligence who managed well what they had. Moti- 
vation, persistence, faith, and moral integrity can supplement 
and enhance an inferior mental inventory in such a way that 
startling results can crown the human endeavor. 

High intelligence involves high responsibility. A good mind 
becomes a cesspool of infection unless it is put to work. Rasputin 
might have redeemed Russia had he managed his intellectual 
powers in a benign fashion, and devoted his genius to honorable 
ends. Lucifer is the symbol of misguided brilliance. Frustrated 
or neglected intelligence may either explode or turn perverse. 
It is fortunate for the world that Socrates founded the Academy 
and took delight in teaching. Voltaire without an interest in 
literature might have toppled France. A strong mind needs a 
strong challenge. 



79 



LEARNING 

An appetite for learning is prerequisite to a well-managed 
intellectual life. The amazing capacity of the human mind 
invites a lifetime of study. The sheer delight of learning can 
dwarf most cherished satisfactions if the taste for knowledge is 
nurtured. Samuel Johnson expressed such hunger for learning 
when he said "There is nothing so minute or inconsiderable, 
that I would rather know than not." An appetite for knowledge, 
however, does not guarantee a significant life of the mind any 
more than a hearty interest in food guarantees a well-nourished 
body. Taste and judgment are involved. Pope's "bookful block- 
head, ignorantly read, with loads of learned lumber in his head" 
is no paragon of a well-managed intellect. The high art of 
learning what is worth knowing is among the most precious of 
all human values. 

In a time of vast technical achievement and increasing spe- 
cialization such as the present there is need for one to learn 
a great deal about one thing. With the proliferation of knowl- 
edge an entire lifetime can be invested in the pursuit of informa- 
tion belonging to a relatively narrow field. An examination of 
theses presented for the Ph.D. degree in any first-rate university 
will serve to underline this point. One such dissertation at the 
University of Chicago was confined to "The Nasal Muscles 
of a Salamander." One of the examining professors remarked, 
"I should think this thesis would be very interesting to a sala- 
mander." Nevertheless, the exhaustive command of a limited 
field is extremely important for the good of society and the 
self-realization of the individual. A successful person must know 
his business to the point of expertness if he is to make his best 
contribution. An old Texas dog trainer made this point when 
he was asked how he managed to train dogs so successfully. His 
answer was, "Well, in the first place, you must know more 
than the dog." The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker, 
the doctor, lawyer, merchant, and chief must know his own 
business and tend to it. But he must know other fields to be 
truly cultured. 



80 



THE NEW LIBERAL ARTS 

The renewed interest in liberal studies is a salient character- 
istic of the twentieth century. A certain disenchantment with 
the Utopian ideals of technological progress has prompted 
thoughtful men to ask searching questions about the purpose 
and destiny of civilization. The assumptions which underlie 
confidence in more and better machines, more and better re- 
search, increased speed and comfort as the road to happiness 
and a highway to good society have come in for serious review. 
The technological revolution goes on apace, but the motive 
and meaning of human existence make importunate demands 
for something more. 

Industry is asking for broadly trained personnel who ex- 
emplify qualities of cultural as well as technical proficiency. 
Educators are giving serious consideration to breadth as well 
as depth in the school curriculum. Professional schools are ask- 
ing for general studies in the experience of those who apply for 
graduate study. Thoughtful deans are saying that specific pre- 
requisites to law, medicine, engineering, the ministry, or teach- 
ing are not enough. Experts on family life argue that a home 
is more successful with liberally trained parents who have some 
understanding of music, literature, painting, history, economics, 
and world affairs, as well as of breadwinning and child rearing. 
Government is alert to the need for qualified career people who 
have disciplined emotions, minds, and personalities. 

The American man is trying to make up his mind whether 
he is a person who is worth knowing or merely a person who 
knows how to get things done. He could very well be both. 
The need to accomplish vast projects in a hurry has teamed 
up with an inner drive toward being successful. The result is 
an overemphasis upon narrow proficiency. Technical schools 
meet the need for engineers, chemists, teachers, executives, 
salesmen, doctors, or secretaries. Vast sums of money have 
gone to build, equip, endow, and support these effective insti- 
tutions. The consequent achievement in research, invention, 
development, improved standards of living, gross economic prod- 



81 



uct, and professional skill is impressive. The reflective person, 
however, wonders if this phenomenal success is enough. He 
begins to ask questions about the nature of man as well as 
questions about the next step toward specific attainment. "To 
have" is one thing; "to be" is something more. 

Overspecialization in our society has brought on a consider- 
able reaction favorable to the liberal arts. The day's demand is 
for cultured people who know something of many things rather 
than for narrow specialists who can perform only in a circum- 
scribed sphere. This new emphasis on the liberal arts requires 
that we review the meaning of the term. The Roman trivium 
of grammar, logic, and rhetoric combines with the Greek 
quadrivium of music, astronomy, geometry, and arithmetic to 
form the seven fields of study important for free men. In that 
age of slavery the term Artes Liberates had reference to studies 
for free men in contradistinction to the craft training for slaves. 
In modern life the term has been rationalized to mean liberating 
studies which offer freedom from ignorance and prejudice as 
opposed to technical studies aimed primarily at utility. The 
specific form and content which these fields of learning should 
encompass, however, is open to debate. The "general education" 
movement in America which aims to give every person broad 
knowledge in all the most honored fields, as well as considerable 
competence in one field, is an indication of the ferment. Few 
people agree in detail on what studies are most worthy of the 
limited time at a busy person's disposal. A review of con- 
temporary culture and the engaging discussion of educators 
with reference to its demands may be summed up in seven 
fields of study. 

1. THE ART OF COMMUNICATION 

Communication is a comprehensive term. It involves reading 
with speed and comprehension, writing with lucid meaning and 
style, listening with active interest and understanding, and 
speaking with accuracy and convincing clarity. The art of re- 
flective thought is involved in each operation, and critical judg- 

82 



ment is an essential component of the entire process. Much of 
our contemporary confusion is a result of poor communication. 
Within our own nation businessmen do not adequately under- 
stand educators, and educators do not sufficiently understand 
businessmen. The politicians are poorly understood by their 
colleagues in other vocations and at the same time are inept at 
explaining themselves to their constituents. Diverse interests 
create distinctive vocabularies which tend to reduce effective 
co-operation. In intercultural affairs the barriers are still greater 
because of language and ideological disparities. The discipline 
of communications is an effort to structure the studies that 
promote mutual understanding. 

2. THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SCIENTIFIC TEMPER 

When Aristotle gave way to Galileo in the drama of Pisa, a 
new logic emerged. Observation, reason, and experiment began 
to replace formal deduction as an approach to certain problems. 
Empirical science opened a new world of useful truths. Knowl- 
edge that can be tested by evidence multiplied. The method 
of collected facts, considered in the light of hypotheses subjected 
to rigorous testing to insure accurate meanings, has yielded a 
vast accumulation of public knowledge. Both formal and 
empirical logic are involved in the scientific method. Instead 
of merely attempting to prove the truth of a proposition, the 
disciplined scientist often attempts to prove it false in order 
that he may discover what is true. Not every person can be a 
scientist, but everybody can acquire some competence in scien- 
tific procedure which goes beyond common sense by helping to 
organize and correct it. Both the knowledge of science and the 
experimental method of science are of great practical impor- 
tance. 

Physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, biology, and re- 
lated subjects are no longer the concern of a few specialists. 
In a day when every person is involved in the possibility of 
quick death from nuclear reactions, as well as complicated life 
in synthetic clothes as he speeds about in jet planes or sits 
before his colored video screen, there is personal involvement 

83 



in science. While a comprehensive knowledge in all scientific 
fields is quite impossible, it is nevertheless incumbent upon a 
cultured man to have some understanding of the procedure 
which provides him with a clue to many fields of knowledge. 
Science aids man in the struggle for adjustment to the universe 
around him. The sea, the stars, and the rocks become friends 
when people learn the ways of nature. Many thoughtful men 
agree that only through some firsthand laboratory experience 
can a person understand the scientific method. The scientific 
temper involves acquiring all the facts time will allow, together 
with command of the method and an attitude that is persistent 
and courageous in pursuit of truth. 

3. THE KNOWLEDGE AND ARTISTRY 
OF HUMAN RELATIONS 

The social sciences are as old as Herodotus and as new as 
Yankee City. They encompass the interaction of man in his 
quest for the good life. The woman who explained her domestic 
quarrel by saying, "I could get along all right if it were not 
for human relations" inadvertently expressed a far-reaching de- 
scription of the human predicament. We are involved in man- 
kind — unable to get along with people or without them. History, 
economics, sociology, psychology, government, and related 
studies are the result of man's effort to understand himself and 
his society in their complex interrelations. Orientation in these 
fields has important bearings on a person's ability to earn a 
living, rear a family, participate in government, and understand 
himself. The staggering complexity of the area defies mastery, 
but failure to work at a modicum of understanding is to default 
in social responsibility. Contemporary civilization requires a 
person to learn how to get along with people and how to get 
along with himself. 

Thinkers like Malthus and de Tocqueville are up for serious 
review in the light of the rate of world population increase and 
the present plight of the American Republic. Anthropologists 
have brought new insight into the sources of civilization. So- 



84 



ciologists have described the human group as it manifests itself 
in factories, gangs, country clubs, and communities. Social 
psychologists have clarified the nature of our intercourse in 
business, politics, education, recreation, and many other ac- 
tivities. Psychiatrists have unmasked our hates and fears. The 
successors of Machiavelli have introduced us to the realities 
of political action. New economic factors are emerging at a 
precipitous rate. Since every person who eats, votes, reproduces, 
and interacts with his fellows is involved in all these conditions, 
problems, and decisions, it is actually crucial that each one be 
as enlightened as possible. The gruesome facts of contingent 
wars and depressions demand our educated attention. Human 
affairs are everybody's business. 

4. THE LEGACY OF THE HUMANITIES 

Great literature, philosophy, art, and morals are frequently 
subsumed under the title "humanities" since they tend to refine 
the person as he inherits the great legacy bequeathed by his 
intellectual ancestry. Plato, Augustine, Shakespeare, Bach, and 
Michelangelo are contemporaries in a vital sense. Without some 
firsthand acquaintance with the classics, a modern businessman 
is much less aware of his role in society. Great poetry should 
not be regarded as merely ornamental. It is the symbolic render- 
ing of important experience in such striking fashion that it may 
be long remembered and cherished. The humanities are worthy 
of study for the inner satisfaction derived from communion 
with the great minds who have entered into the timelessness of 
immortality. A homemaker who is on speaking terms with 
Sophocles will understand her family better and be a more 
interesting person. Knowledge of great literature tends toward 
peace of mind and range of understanding. The heritage of the 
humanities is wisdom. 

The study of our human heritage involves disciplined emo- 
tions as well as disciplined minds. In Moby Dick, for example, 
Captain Ahab is a configuration of ego drives who could not 
accept the love of his colleagues because of his obsession with 



85 



mastery. He drove both his crew and his ship to destruction in 
pursuit of the great white whale. His emotions were mobilized 
around success and destruction rather than around fellowship 
and appreciation of the beauty and meaning of the rolling sea 
and cloud-flecked sky. He failed to see his role as man in the 
drama of human existence performed in the context of nature. 

5. THE DISCIPLINES OF HEALTH AND RECREATION 

The old "sex-and-toothbrush" approach to health literature 
is being replaced by some important books on physical and 
mental well-being. The facts of hygiene should be learned in 
spite of Stephen Leacock's objection that a person who finds out 
how many pipes and organs are in his body will no longer have 
any self-respect. Illness is a major economic burden upon 
society. It accounts for untold human suffering and endless 
tensions between persons. Medical science is hampered by the 
inability of many people to utilize its vast resources. One 
thoughtful physician has defined the goal of medical science as 
not only to help people get well but to help them get "weller." 
Knowledge can aid in the quest for health of body, mind, and 
emotions. Any literate person can learn procedures and acquire 
attitudes which enhance energy and avoid unnecessary illness. 
Vibrant bodies and alert minds, combined with warm person- 
alities, are the strength of a nation, the success of a business, 
and the ingredients of happy living. 

The art of recreation, moreover, is more than an elective 
in the curriculum. It is a vital social necessity in a day when 
technology has earned more leisure time for everyone. If people 
who are freed to shorter hours at work and longer vacations 
do not learn to do something more creative than to stand on 
the street corner and yammer, or drive their many-colored cars 
into each other, our civilization is in for trouble. The art of 
sportsmanship, combined with prowess on the golf course or 
tennis court, is a valuable achievement. Swimming, horseman- 
ship, dancing, and a host of related sports are cherished and 
continuing acquisitions of the active years. Intelligent play is 



86 



essential to healthy living, and mastery, even here, involves 
discipline of minds and attitudes. 

6. THE CREATIVE PERSONAL INTEREST IN THE 
FINE ARTS 

Creative interest in the fine arts, together with such knowl- 
edge as one needs for a cultivated taste in what is truly beauti- 
ful, belong to the life of reason. Music and painting, sculpture 
and drama, with a host of comparable media for enjoyment, 
are precious. With funds to buy two loaves of bread Mohammed 
chose to buy one loaf of bread and a lotus flower. A personality 
can starve for beauty as well as for food. Ugly houses, tawdry 
clothes, raucous tunes, and lurid paintings are the heritage of 
ignorance. Among the freedoms of a civilized person is freedom 
from bad taste. 

Music appreciation is good but musical performance is better. 
An ordinary painting which is one's own has more meaning 
for the painter than abstract knowledge about the great masters. 
A sonnet from the heart brings satisfaction to the author beyond 
the enjoyment of Shakespeare or Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 
The simple artistry of creative dress, attractive and expressive 
offices, factories, or homes, and the eloquence of good manners 
with cultured speech are all among the fine arts. The expert 
on drama who has never faced the lights or attempted to write 
a play is like a travel agent who has never taken a trip. Vachel 
Lindsay exemplified his theory that "beauty is where you find 
it" by developing incipient poets everywhere he lectured. In 
the fine arts an ounce of performance is worth a pound of 
information. 

7. THE KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES OF RELIGION 

Religion is a discipline which belongs in any program of 
reading. The facts of religion can be learned on a parity with 
any other body of knowledge. Unless a person knows the Bible, 
the history of the church, the theology of the Judaeo-Christian 
tradition, and something of the rituals of worship, he is im- 



87 



poverished intellectually as well as morally and spiritually. 
Many a youth has been initiated into the poetry of Tennyson 
and Browning and has neglected the greater poetry of the 
Psalms. The institutions of government and finance have been 
studied and the institutions which have saved the Ten Com- 
mandments and the Sermon on the Mount have been neglected. 
The ethics of Aristotle have been searched but the ethics of 
Isaiah, Amos, and Paul have been overlooked. It is important 
to study the sonnets of Shakespeare, but more important to 
know the Beatitudes of Christ. Religion deals with the ultimate 
loyalties of man. Solid learning and faithful practice in the 
area of religion are the only alternatives to spiritual bankruptcy. 
How these seven new liberal arts shall be taught is a call 
to resourcefulness and creative diversity within our colleges. 
That they shall be taught is crucial if we are to have a civiliza- 
tion worthy of survival. The value of a civilization depends on 
the creative minority who honor the best of its diverse heritage 
and express this sense of interest in what is most precious by 
entering into its meanings and mysteries. 

ACCESS TO INFORMATION 

Since it is obviously impossible for anyone to know every- 
thing, it is important for the intellectual wayfarer to know how 
and where to obtain the information he needs. It is a matter 
of high tragedy that many persons have never so much as en- 
tered the public libraries in all major cities and many rural 
areas. A good private library may provide access to certain in- 
formation relevant to one's purpose. It is highly desirable for 
one to select his library with the twofold purpose of acquiring 
material about his own specialty as well as something about 
the broad liberal arts. Much information, however, is best ob- 
tained from sources other than books and periodicals. The best 
information on health comes from a trusted physician, and 
one's lack of tonsorial knowledge can be overcome by selecting 
a good barber. The information on diverse subjects available 
from the multitudinous government agencies is sufficient to 

88 



transform the world if it were utilized. Religious knowledge 
waits at every church and synagogue. Technical counsel can 
be procured at a research center, a university, or from one's 
friends who are expert in the field. An easy familiarity with 
the sources and methods of acquiring the needed facts can be 
just as useful as attempting to learn them in advance. 

ANALYSIS 

The management of mind involves more than learning. 
Thinking is in many ways more rewarding than learning even 
though the two go hand in hand. One important function of 
thought is analysis. A widespread illusion has identified the 
analytic process with the breaking of a subject into various 
parts for detailed consideration. A much more useful concept 
of analysis regards the process as an attempt at emphasis and 
evaluation. The critic who brings an experienced eye to a work 
of art does not so much look at it bit by bit with a magnifying 
glass as ask what it says, how it was created, and how it com- 
pares with other similar pieces with reference to the canons of 
form and content, line and color, balance and symmetry. The 
observer of a mass of cloud gives his analysis in terms of its 
nature, but even more in regard to its function. His analysis 
aims at the prediction of where it is going and what results are 
likely to ensue in order that he can run for the storm cellar, 
reach for an umbrella, or cancel his flight, as the case may be. 

Analytic thinking has bearing on every human activity which 
involves choice or decision. A business investment or a place 
to dine, the relative merits of locations for a holiday, the most 
desirable employment opportunities, and a decision as to which 
hat to wear are all subject for review. The disciplined mind has 
developed a method of approach whereby relevant factors can be 
weighed and considered. Many professional schools of law and 
business have adopted the case-study method in an attempt to 
develop analytical thinking in relation to the cases which come 
up for consideration. A typical case is presented in objective fash- 
ion, and the class then attempts to analyze the various aspects 

89 



and relations involved in an effort to decide what steps might be 
taken in order to achieve the most satisfactory results. The ob- 
ject of such a study method is development of critical insight 
and a systematic approach as aids to wise decisions. This 
method has long been employed even in the study of literature, 
and any man of common sense goes about the business of solv- 
ing a problem in much the same manner. 

The rich result of learning coupled with analysis is under- 
standing. Mere learning is possible without much increment of 
meaning. Occasionally a young professor has been sadly dis- 
enchanted with teaching when he is confronted with the dis- 
heartening fact that a student can memorize and repeat without 
much comprehension of the implications and significance of the 
material. A teacher of American literature told of a student 
who gave back a perfect set of test answers on the poetry of 
William Cullen Bryant even to an accurate quotation of a por- 
tion from "To a Waterfowl." The thought question "What is 
Bryant saying in the poem?" drew a blank. The student an- 
swered, "Something about a duck." An honored goal of learn- 
ing is understanding, and without analytical thought that goal 
is lost. 

JUDGMENT 

Sound judgment is the mark of a disciplined mind. The qual- 
ity which is essential to excellence in government, business, in- 
dustry, agriculture, or almost any other vocation is judgment. 
Personal fulfillment or public usefulness depends on wise de- 
cisions. Judgment involves discrimination and choices which 
finally issue in decisions. The supreme goal in the management 
of one's mental life is wisdom. The prayer of Solomon has been, 
is, and will continue to be the central prayer of an earnest pil- 
grim whose destiny is a good and useful life. 

The first component of sound judgment is ability to choose 
the most satisfactory of actual alternative courses of action. 
The record of a lifetime is nothing more than the history of one's 



90 



choices. Valuing, therefore, deserves the most careful considera- 
tion and the best mental resources which anyone can bring to 
a problem. The fine art of evaluating is not easily come by. 
Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is prohibitive in 
some cases. To learn by sad experience that one has chosen the 
wrong career or the wrong mate carries penalties which are 
exorbitant. It is far more desirable to make a good choice be- 
fore the regrets set in. The resources of one's past experience 
joined with careful observation and study of similar situations 
should help to achieve satisfaction and avoid mistakes. 

Choosing is complicated by the fact that a person frequently 
does not fully know his own preferences. Transitory interests 
can distort one's viewpoint until the more persistent concerns 
are overlooked. The situational nature of human personality 
may cause some modern Esau to trade his entire birthright for 
a mess of pottage. A well-managed mind may gain both the 
meal and the birthright. 

Byron "Whizzer" White had just finished his college course 
at the University of Colorado. His prowess in the backfield 
brought him a handsome offer to play professional football. His 
ability as a student and his leadership on the campus earned 
him the opportunity to go to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. 
He was faced with a problem of choice. The resourceful art of 
evaluation and choice was exemplified in his careful inquiry 
into the possible alternatives. He discovered that he could delay 
his journey to Oxford until the winter period. He knew his own 
preferences well enough to recognize that he actually wished to 
play professional ball as well as attend Oxford. He persuaded 
the team to take him for one season which enabled him to ac- 
complish both purposes by playing through the autumn before 
he sailed for England. Not every situation can be so happily 
arranged to allow a person to "eat his cake and have it too." 
Yet the art of choosing involves resourcefulness and ingenuity 
in finding ways to accomplish deeply desired results and con- 
sequences. 

As a person gains experience in wise choices, he cultivates a 



91 



quality which might very well be called good taste. A cultivated 
taste can marshal the complex configuration of preference, 
knowledge, analysis, prediction, and judgment to bear on the 
alternative possibilities in order that the most desirable outcomes 
are realized. No one can achieve absolute perfection in this 
enterprise, but anyone can substantially improve his taste so 
that he turns with a natural inclination toward the better of 
two alternatives. Winston Churchill in world affairs and Albert 
Schweitzer in philosophy are illustrative of cultivated taste ap- 
proaching genius in terms of decisions that have lasting value. 
This generation honors each because of a quality best described 
by the term "sound judgment." 

WISDOM 

Wisdom is the most comprehensive goal of intellectual en- 
deavor. Few, indeed, achieve wisdom and those who have 
achieved it are disposed to deny any claim to eminence. The 
Oracle at Delphi evidently told the truth when he identified 
Socrates as the wisest of Athenian men. Socrates, however, dis- 
puted the Oracle, and set about to disprove the pronounce- 
ment. The poet, the artisan, and the statesman alike joined 
Socrates in his protest, for each felt that the wisest man must 
be somewhat more like himself than Socrates — the poet honored 
poetic wisdom, the artisan his craftsmanship, and the statesman 
his politics. Socrates was forced to conclude that in one respect 
he was wiser than those who claimed wisdom, inasmuch as he 
knew his own ignorance while his interlocutors did not recognize 
their own. "In that respect at least," he said, "I have slightly 
the better of them." The episode shows the chimeric nature of 
wisdom as a goal since it is, like happiness, a by-product of a 
life devoted to worthy ends with such self-forgetfulness that 
self-regard as to either wisdom or happiness is inappropriate 
if not downright distasteful. The quest for wisdom is a counsel 
of perfection which permits a salute, but not an embrace. Yet 
it is the one word which describes the quality toward which a 
worthy mind must forever aspire. 

92 



FALLACIES 

One who aspires to be wise is subject to many fallacies. The 
most ubiquitous is overregard for one's own opinions. This is 
the egocentric predicament of man. The hidden and partly 
hidden interests of a person blind him to the opportunities, 
dangers, and the many other aspects of the problem involved. 
The person who seeks wisdom must somehow manage to tran- 
scend himself. 

The second most persistent fallacy lies in yielding to social 
pressures to conform to the attitudes and customs of one's own 
group. Francis Bacon defined this impediment to reason as 
idolatry of the tribe. The pressure of one's peer group or the 
ethnocentric attitudes of one's culture alike may block the ap- 
proach to wisdom in thought and action. The mental processes 
of man seem disposed toward yielding to the voice of the Sirens. 

The enemies of wisdom are far too numerous to identify. All 
the named fallacies of logic may be added to the list. Ignorance 
and bias are persistent dissuaders. Prejudice precludes the ap- 
propriate exercise of the mind. Mistakes and errors are forever 
in the way. The right to be wise, however, is an inalienable right 
which one is free to pursue. In fact, every person is morally 
bound to become as wise as he possibly can be. 



93 



GOOD FRUITS 
FROM EVIL ROOTS 



It is characteristic of our culture to disavow devotion to 
money, but the vehemence of our denial is matched only by our 
mad scramble to get it. There is an old story about two men in 
a London fog who bumped into each other reaching for a purse 
which someone had lost on the sidewalk. Each man claimed to 
have been the first finder and, therefore, privileged to claim the 
right of discovery, whether reward or possession through failure 
of the owner to reclaim. The two men were honorable in all 
respects. When the dispute arose, each agreed to forego his ad- 
vantage and to leave the purse on the deserted sidewalk. They 
departed in opposite directions in high dignity. When barely 
enough time for a man to lose himself in the fog had elapsed, 
they once again bumped into each other while reaching for the 
same lost purse. In similar high dignity mankind loudly dis- 
claims money madness and materialism, but still overreaches his 
brethren through greed. Early graves are the result of anxiety 
over making money. 

The world remembers the biblical maxim, "Love of money 
is the root of all evils" not only because it is part of Holy Scrip- 
ture but because it rings a deep response in the practical ex- 
perience of most human beings. A man's money may be his un- 
doing or it may be his most blessed aid to righteousness. Greed 



94 



for possessions has a cancerous quality that can infect the entire 
personality. The Midas touch is the inevitable consequence of 
preoccupation with wealth. The pride of possession is perhaps 
more widespread than any other common human sin. Crime, 
wars, and dishonor ensue from our greed for gain. 

The unreasonable pursuit of money springs from three basic 
motives. The first of these is a competitive inclination which is 
adequately conveyed by the slang phrase, "keeping up with the 
Joneses" ; the second is the universal urge to be important. Pres- 
tige and power are associated with money. Therefore, one must 
make money or be damned to the limbo of insignificance. The 
great cities of the world are overrun by people who have sacri- 
ficed honor and happiness in an attempt to buy prestige by 
making money. The tragedy of such effort is the utter futility 
and the high percentage of failure. 

The third and most universal motive, however, is widespread 
insecurity against which money is widely regarded as a guaran- 
tee. The trust in money as a defense against the eventualities 
and exigencies of a precarious time leads to the industrial strife 
that bedevils the nation's economy. Managers want bigger 
profits and workers want higher wages and larger pensions be- 
cause all feel insecure. The same uneasiness drives otherwise 
sensible people into money madness. Fear of failure and loss, 
rather than mere money, becomes an obsession. 

The Bible is replete with teachings about money. There is 
almost no Christian doctrine that is as clearly set forth and as 
amply illustrated. The doctrine in three simple propositions is 
as follows. First, all wealth belongs to God. "The earth is the 
Lord's and the fullness thereof." The second assumption is that 
all possessions are held in trust after the order of a stewardship 
in biblical times and lands, or a trusteeship and managerial 
responsibility today. The third assumption is that God holds 
each person strictly accountable for the management of all the 
possessions with which he has been entrusted. The parable of 
the talents very well sets forth the biblical doctrine that every 
person is God's steward. 



95 



"For it will be as when a man going on a journey 
called his servants and entrusted to them his property; 
to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another 
one, to each according to his ability. Then he went 
away. He who had received the five talents went at 
once and traded with them; and he made five talents 
more. So too, he who had the two talents made two 
talents more. But he who had received the one talent, 
went and dug in the ground and hid his master's 
money. Now after a long time the master of those serv- 
ants came and settled accounts with them. And he 
who had received the five talents came forward, bring- 
ing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to 
me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' 
His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful 
servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set 
you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' 
And he also who had the two talents came forward, 
saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents ; here 
I have made two talents more.' His master said to 
him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have 
been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; 
enter into the joy of your master.' He also who had re- 
ceived the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, 
I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did 
not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; 
so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the 
ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master 
answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You 
knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather 
where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have 
invested my money with the bankers, and at my com- 
ing I should have received what was my own with in- 
terest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him 
who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will 
more be given, and he will have abundance ; but from 



96 



him who has not, even what he has will be taken 
away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer 
darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.' " 

—Matthew 25:14-30. 

A careful study of the Christian use of money shows it to be 
the root of good as well as the root of evil. It is the excessive 
love of money which can produce the thorns and poisonous herbs 
that ruin life. There is some justifiable love of money in every 
human heart. Without it there could be no answer to the prayer, 
"Give us this day our daily bread." The central problem is that 
of redeeming the tendency toward greed and selfishness which 
perpetually threatens everyone. 

NET WORTH (Inventory) 

The person who borrows sizable amounts from a bank is fre- 
quently asked to provide a declaration of net worth. This requires 
a systematic listing of his entire possessions — property, goods, 
stocks, bonds, bills receivable, money, insurance, and anything 
else of financial value. There is no more revealing discipline than 
that which comes from taking economic inventory. Before one 
can manage his money, he must know how much he has and 
in what form it exists. The term "capital" has been generally 
applied to that portion of a person's net worth which is in excess 
of his obligations or current expense in the production of income. 
Whether it be one dollar or a million, it is still capital. A person 
may have very little capital and yet be responsible for a very 
sizable problem of money management. He may, on the other 
hand, have vast holdings that are of such a nature that they 
represent meager wealth. 

Far more important from the view of Christian stewardship 
is a person's income. The power to earn is the major factor in 
arriving at a fruitful policy for handling one's money. The 
thoughtful person will carefully search the facts of his financial 
condition to decide how much he is earning and whether or 



97 



not his income is commensurate with his ability. It is easy for 
a person to make a serious mistake in the estimate of his ability 
to earn. It would be hard to convince an ambitious workman 
that he is not worth just as much to his company as the general 
manager. If he gets to be general manager, he will more often 
than not reverse his opinion about the value of a workman. The 
honest trustee of God must strive to be objective about his earn- 
ing capacity. If he is far below his reasonable estimate of his 
ability, he has the basis for inquiry into the reasons. There is no 
better purpose in taking stock of one's present condition than to 
find its meaning in terms of what one can do about it. 

The third factor concerns the economic order in which a per- 
son lives. If he is born in a time of financial adversity, his life 
will be quite different than it would be had he arrived at just 
the right moment to inherit the prosperity of an age of plenty. 
A group of high school students in the depths of the depression 
took as their class slogan, "W.P.A., here we come!" A recent 
class chose, "Responsibility for a time of plenty !" 

While the present economy is on the side of abundance, it pre- 
sents many problems to the conscientious manager of his posses- 
sions. In the first place, it is precarious. The threat of recession 
hangs like the sword of Damocles over the head of every mana- 
ger and workman. Any number of easy schemes to guarantee 
prosperity will in no way change the precarious nature of the 
economy. Everyone must learn to live in a world where wealth 
is insecure. It has been this way since the dawn of history. Good 
social and individual management, however, can reduce the risk. 

In the second place, in this day and age a person's income 
and economic status are not necessarily related to his ability to 
produce wealth. While there have been injustices in other 
times, there seems to be in the present economic order more 
than a necessary number of inequities. One man makes a bril- 
liant discovery and another man gets most of the profit from it. 
Stephen Foster wrote songs that created vast wealth which ac- 
crued to the shrewd people who developed them. Today some 
executive vice-president on salary may, by shrewd management, 



98 



increase the earning power of his company only to have the 
added value go to someone who contributed in no respect to the 
improved efficiency of the business. Some effective engineer or 
salesman may make vast sums for his company without realizing 
any personal reward. 

The fact that there are some first-rate men in second- or third- 
rate positions and some second- or third-rate men in first-rate 
positions increases one's responsibility to manage his economic 
life in such a way as to derive fair benefit from his productive 
capacity. It is not enough for one merely to work hard to earn 
money. He must put himself in such a position that the vast flow 
of wealth which pours from the economic horn of plenty will 
empty into his pockets in proportion to his productive genius. 

In the third place this is a transitional period. Many of the 
assumptions of a free economy are in jeopardy from the govern- 
ment on the one hand and powerful configurations of private 
economic power on the other. The average citizen is responsible 
not only for his own financial affairs but for his part of the na- 
tional and world economy. The economic order is nothing more 
than the economic behavior of the citizenry. If the collectivistic 
tyranny robs people of their freedom, it is because the people 
allow it to happen. If vast labor or vast industry exploits the 
common good in an effort to gain advantage for some pressure 
group, the success of its effort depends on the people who al- 
low it to happen. Economic management today demands that a 
man exert his influence as a public citizen as well as a private 
individual. The expenditure of the staggering public funds is 
an affair in which every citizen is involved whether he admits 
it or not. 

Not what one has, 

BUT WHAT HE DOES WITH IT. 

The amount of one's money is not so important as the use 
he makes of it. A person can be a miser or a spendthrift with 
twenty dollars just as much as with a million. The love of money 
and vain display can be just as apparent with persons of small 
income as with those who earn vast fortunes. It is easy enough 



99 



for the person to say, "I would be very generous if I had plenty 
of money," but experience teaches that he who is faithful in 
little things is likely to be faithful in larger dealings, and that a 
selfish person grows no more liberal as he grows wealthier. It is 
good, therefore, to review the purpose of money in order to gain 
insight into some procedures that will make for improved money 
management. 

Money is to be used. It is the prudence of Solomon's ant to 
save some of it for future use, but it is still no end in itself. The 
persons who regard money for itself make their greed the "root 
of evil." Life is vastly more than economic plenty, but life cer- 
tainly is not abundant unless a person has a fair degree of eco- 
nomic security. It is the purpose of money to serve as an instru- 
ment for enhancing the value of life. This aim means manage- 
ment that will reduce anxieties and release creativity. 

On management of income day-to-day happiness or sorrow 
turns. One should be concerned with spending less than he 
earns. There are times when it is necessary to dip into capital 
or go into debt, there are instances when capital is justifiably dis- 
sipated for current ends, but the general rule is to keep expendi- 
tures within income. The twofold problem, therefore, is to reduce 
expenditures in proportion to income and to increase income to 
the optimum which is consistent with opportunity, ability, and 

need. 

Budgets are troublesome and the occasion of many family 
disputes. They are, however, the best-known way to avoid the 
arguments and catastrophes that follow overspending. The best 
clue to happiness in money matters is to modify desires to match 
ability to pay. Self-denial is a useful lesson for the person who 
sets forth to direct his personal affairs. Plain living and high 
thinking are the scholarly ideals available alike to prince and 
pauper. 

Printed budget books are available for the person who is will- 
ing to bring his spending systematically into line with his earn- 
ings. A personal budget will enable him to review his expendi- 
tures in order to discover areas of waste or loss. It is a matter of 



100 



great convenience at a time of income tax accounting or of prep- 
aration of a financial statement. Every person's economic life 
is a kind of business and deserves to be treated in a businesslike 
manner. There is truth in the clever remark of the man who 
said, "A budget is a device whereby a person can worry twice 
instead of once about spending his money ; once before he spends 
it and once after." It is also a good way to obviate the disturbing 
consequence of overspending. 

Luxuries are not to be despised. The young man in desperate 
circumstances who was dismissed from his position acted with 
deep wisdom when he used some of his scant savings to take his 
wife out to dinner. Their morale needed a boost and the dinner 
was the thing to do it. Judas was the only one who complained 
of wastefulness when Mary of Bethany spent a lavish sum of 
money on the perfume she poured over the Master's feet. It was 
a time of deep meaning in fellowship. The occasion required 
something lavish and luxurious. There is a creative use of or- 
chids, diamonds, and dinner jackets. Common sense is not over- 
powered by them. A little luxury now and then is worth the self- 
denial that makes it possible. 

A scrupulous sense of honor in financial matters brings many 
rewards apart from the most important which is a clear con- 
science before God and man. Jabus Stone in Stephen Vincent 
Binet's The Devil and Daniel Webster was a poor but honorable 
man until he gave the devil a seven-year lease on his soul in ex- 
change for money. His character collapsed. He was faithless to 
his wife and family, arrogant toward his neighbors, cruel to his 
hired help, and an enemy of the community. This symbolic pic- 
ture of the consequence of dishonesty for financial gain is patent 
in experience. The person who is faithful in performing his re- 
sponsibilities with dispatch and courtesy inspires confidence in 
all his associates. Shrewd businessmen trust an honorable per- 
son with meager resources more than a questionable person who 
has ample reserves of money. Character is a man's best com- 
modity in financial dealings. 

There is no greater stupidity than that form of greed which 



101 



prompts a person to lose a friend over a few paltry dollars. 
Jesus taught that the fear of being cheated is damaging to per- 
sonality. It is wise and prudent for a person to protect his inter- 
ests, but never to develop the defensive attitudes of suspicion 
and fear that cause him to look on everyone as untrustworthy. 
It is better to be cheated than to cheat; it is better to be stolen 
from than to steal. 

The only money that one really keeps is the part he gives 
away. A fair proportion of one's budget given to his church, his 
college, and community charities not only brings great satisfac- 
tion, but does a great deal of good as well. The systematic giving 
of a portion of one's income brings prosperity through good han- 
dling and the good will which it creates, in addition to the fact 
that it builds character and brings untold happiness. 

The management of capital turns on the parable of the tal- 
ents. The man who clings tenaciously to his money, hiding it in 
the earth, as did the one-talent man in the parable, loses every- 
thing at last. The one who risks his money foolishly loses it more 
often than not. The two extremes of clutching and gambling are 
the enemies of good sense in the management of capital. That 
the fear of loss can rob one of what he has is illustrated by the 
story of the frugal man who took a small portion of his ac- 
cumulated capital to buy a steamship ticket to Aberdeen, Scot- 
land. To save money he bought a supply of crackers and cheese 
on which he lived while crossing the Atlantic. Only after he 
arrived did he discover that his meals had been purchased with 
his ticket. His parsimonious plan had robbed him of his own 
money. Far more people, however, fall victim to the other ex- 
treme of gambling. The long lines of people waiting to buy 
tickets on horse races, or those who patronize bookmakers on 
an event of public interest such as athletic games or prizefights 
are symptomatic of the mad folly which hopes to get something 
for nothing. The motives for gambling differ with individuals. 
Some gamble because they find life dull and uninteresting. 
There is excitement for them in the risk and expectancy. Others 
hazard hard-earned capital in a hope of easy return. One story 



102 



of a win on the Irish sweepstakes blinds a multitude to the thou- 
sands who lost. Some gamble because of frustration which ex- 
presses itself in desperation. The enormous profits prompt 
shrewd operators to stimulate interest by holding out false hopes 
of quick gain to a gullible public. Those who fall into domestic 
trouble or fail in business frequently resort to games of chance. 
False faith in luck instead of God may lead hapless souls to 
poverty. Property should be well managed because it is good; 
it belongs to God and is man's to use. 

Related, but yet quite apart from the management of income 
and capital is the intelligent planning for the maximum of eco- 
nomic security for the individual and for those who depend on 
him for sustenance. This means insurance, pensions, and any 
sort of arrangement that gives protection against the exigencies 
of illness, failure, theft, fire, flood, death, accident, and such. 
One is never completely secure with reference to these things. 
There are, however, certain precautions that any thoughtful 
person should take for purposes of social responsibility as well 
as private protection. Insurance beyond one's means may thwart 
his power to earn and render him less effective. Insurance be- 
low his means may leave him or his family unprotected in a 
major crisis. The aim of a person in this area is to take just as 
much precaution as possible against the blows of circumstance 
which perpetually threaten. Each individual differs in the 
amount of help he can expect from company or government 
sources. It becomes incumbent upon each one, therefore, to 
estimate all the help he can expect and then buy insurance to 
supplement the amount to the extent of his ability and the po- 
tential threat of damage. It would be foolhardy for one to drive 
a car without theft and public liability insurance. It is a matter 
of question, however, just how thoroughly he should protect 
himself against damage for collision. The person who drives a 
great deal may find it profitable to buy every kind of protection 
possible. Another one may better pay for his occasional acci- 
dent. Each person must decide for himself. It is wisdom for one 
in modest circumstance to carry some sort of health and acci- 



103 



dent insurance. Otherwise some tremendously expensive illness 
may wreck his financial boat. Provision against the eventuality 
of death is merely good sense. The amount again is a matter 
for individual consideration in terms of the situation. 

The present tendency to take the responsibility for manage- 
ment of economic security away from the individual and the 
family and give it to the state has a tendency to rob persons of 
the very qualities of self-reliance that give them the human dig- 
nity which ennobles man. Some forms of public protection 
against the overpowering emergencies that threaten man are 
necessary. The extent of this protection for the good of man is 
an unanswered question, and experimentation moves on apace. 
Great Britain tends toward reliance on the state for social pro- 
tection from the cradle to the grave. Many unforeseen problems 
have arisen for the government as well as for the people. Regi- 
mentation and high taxes create restive attitudes for many, 
while others consider the loss of freedom and the burdensome 
tax a small price to pay for the security. America has been more 
cautious, but there is a tendency toward relegating the respon- 
sibility for social protection to the government. Fortunately, 
there is a deep tradition of individualistic self-reliance in the 
United States which opposes this. In this time of uncertainty a 
good manager will meet the critical economic issues of life with 
as much forethought and self-protection as possible. He is re- 
sponsible, moreover, as a citizen, to use his influence and fran- 
chise toward the most adequate answer to the question, "What 
functions are best performed by a state?" The Christian answer 
must be based on human values and sound economics rather 
than political expediency or greedy self-interest. 

Resourceful earning is the art of alertness to ways of increas- 
ing one's income either by self-improvement or better manage- 
ment of time, talent, and location. A change of position may 
or may not be an effective means. Abraham Lincoln failed as 
a storekeeper, but was successful as a lawyer. As President he 
has not been surpassed. 



104 



EAT, SLEEP, 
AND BE HAPPY 



The old Greek trilogy of "eat, drink, and be merry," gives a 
distorted pattern for living. There is something forced and un- 
easy in the very effort of appearing carefree. Life has its merry 
moods which approach ecstasy, but it also has a sterner aspect 
which can not be ignored even at the risk of losing the merri- 
ment. Pumped-up happiness is always spurious. No matter how 
hard one tries to induce joy by alcohol, pretence, indulgence, 
or abandon, he always ends with disappointment if not down- 
right regret. Carl Sandburg set the strained and foolish efforts 
at happiness in their proper light when he wrote the following 
poem. 

Snatch of Sliphorn Jazz 

Are you happy? It's the only 
way to be, kid. 
Yes, be happy, it's a good nice 
way to be. 

But not happy-happy, kid, don't 
be too doubled-up doggone happy. 
It's the doubled-up doggone happy- 
happy people . . . bust hard . . . they 
do bust hard . . . when they bust. 
Be happy, kid, go to it, but not 
too doggone happy. 1 

1 Reprinted by permission of Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. from Good Morning, 
America, copyright 1920, 1956, by Carl Sandburg. 

105 



A puritan disgust with all the joys of life, on the other hand, 
is a sure way to be miserable. The classic example is that of the 
old Puritan who tasted ice cream for the first time only to refuse 
a second bite with the exclamation, "Anything that tastes that 
good must be sinful!" The mind-set which keeps one from the 
full pleasure of food when hunger importunes, or of sleep when 
one is tired, is a vicious habit which must be broken. There need 
be no cosmic confirmation to make a drink of cold water good 
when one is hot and thirsty, or a lilting song lovely when it ex- 
presses a gay mood within one's heart. 

Health is a central factor in happy living. Much gloom and 
anxiety is related to sickness. Thomas Carlyle knew the biological 
basis for moods when he declared upon his return from the Con- 
tinent that a bit of undigested beef spoiled the Alps. More time, 
money, and effort are spent in search of health than on any other 
human value. More prayers are offered in earnest petition for 
health than for any other divine gift. No wonder that rare fisher- 
man Izaak Walton wrote, "Look to your health; and if you 
have it, praise God and value it next to a good conscience." 

The problem is to manage life so as to enjoy vibrant health 
with its by-products of abounding energy and to obtain thereby 
a head start in the pursuit of happiness. Many prayers for health 
are denied because they are prayed only with words and not with 
lives. The way of abundant living requires the complex co-opera- 
tion of mind, emotion, body, and conduct. God offers man 
health, but man can accept it only on the condition of intelligent 
co-operation with the source of his well-being. 

Inventory, analysis, vision, resources, procedures, and per- 
formance constitute the sixfold approach to management. Health 
yields perhaps the most rewarding response to managerial func- 
tion. The individual is responsible for the management of a 
tough, though at times delicate, organism which is amazingly 
complex, continually functioning, and in a variable state of de- 
velopment and repair. The exact condition and efficiency of 
function can be approximately estimated by a thorough-going 
physical checkup. Man lives longer and more happily today be- 
cause he has redefined the function of medical practice. The 

106 



wise patient goes to a physician not only when he is sick but 
when he takes stock of his reserves of health and hopes to im- 
prove his already tolerable condition. 

The importance of a physical inventory can scarcely be over- 
estimated. Many tragedies of illness, handicap, and death can 
be averted by prompt attention to incipient pathology. Teeth can 
be saved by necessary dental care. Organic deficiences can be 
treated if they are submitted to the skill and wisdom of medical 
science early. Health is more than the way one feels; it is the 
way one's body behaves. 

Beauty of form and face, posture, energy level, and general 
appearance are all part of one's health inventory. Many miser- 
able and anxious hours have tormented girls who felt unloved for 
lack of beauty. In actual fact, personality, attitudes, and charac- 
ter all rank above beauty as qualities that make one lovable. But 
appearance is one item that requires management and the wise 
person will face with courage the state of his more-or-less good 
looks. Something can most certainly be done about it. A re- 
markable transformation takes place between the time freshmen 
enter college and that triumphant hour when the same girls and 
boys have learned the arts of dress, posture, make-up, manners, 
and the like which go with the process of learning and maturing. 
The same startling advance in cleanliness, dress, and manners is 
apparent when a boy first falls in love. 

It takes courage to accept one's body as it is. No human or- 
ganism is exactly perfect. There is no such paragon as the normal 
body. The suffering sense of inferiority because of obesity, physi- 
cal handicaps, pimples, freckles, crooked teeth, long ears, big 
feet, and a myriad other common human characteristics is vast 
and poignant. Yet most such concern is utterly unnecessary as 
well as futile. To accept one's body as it is and improve it as 
much as possible is the prerequisite to effective living. The ma- 
ture wisdom of an old English nursery rhyme is pertinent: 

For every evil under the sun 

There is a remedy, or there is none; 

If there be one, try and find it; 

If there be none, never mind it. 

107 



Every person has some undiscovered or unappreciated physi- 
cal capital which lies dormant until it breaks through into at- 
tentive awareness. It may be unusual motor skill or some ex- 
traordinary facility for mental achievement. Better-than-average 
sensory perception, or an unusually retentive memory may com- 
pensate for many deficiencies. Eager energy can be one's great- 
est asset, rendering all imperfections of appearance or substand- 
ard abilities insignificant. The awakened gratitude for some 
hitherto undeveloped gift may fructify a whole career. There was 
a boy in a small American college of a generation ago who had 
amazingly long ears. His classmates in a spirit of jest nicknamed 
him "Donkey." They taunted him by such remarks as, "How 
old were you before your parents knew whether you would walk 
or fly?" These jibes deepened his sense of inferiority and inade- 
quacy to such an extent that he was about to fail in school. One 
day, however, his whole attitude changed. He stood at a campus 
crossroad in conversation with some of his friends when he heard 
someone singing. He broke into the conversation with the com- 
ment, "That fellow has a remarkable tenor voice." The other 
fellows had not even heard the tenor. One boy said, "Donkey, 
those long ears must be good ones to hear the quality of a tenor 
voice at such a distance." Donkey began to revalue his long 
ears, and thought of himself as gifted with supernormal hearing. 
Newly discovered pride in his lately despised ears led him into 
music. His grades improved, his personality brightened, and his 
misery was gone. Today he is a successful music teacher — all on 
account of self-discovery and self-management. 

The human organism is not static but is a going concern. It is 
a vast complex of habits, drives, tendencies, feelings, and pat- 
terns of behavior. The problem is not to decide whether to act, 
but rather to consider how to influence and redirect the inevita- 
ble action. One breathes, eats, sleeps, enjoys, and suffers without 
benefit of alternative, yet one can improve breathing, increase 
the joy and benefit of eating, sleep more soundly, and meet life's 
eventualities with more creative responses. 

Fortunate is the person who can spend much of his time out 



108 



of doors for fresh air is both pleasant and beneficial. Man is 
poorly equipped to live on the vitiated air he often gets in tightly 
closed bedrooms, offices, and factories. He is beginning to feel 
social responsibility for keeping the air pure for breathing. The 
shocking deaths from air pollution in a little Pennsylvania town 
startled its governing bodies into a program of smoke control. 

"Man does not live by bread alone," but he doesn't five very 
long without it. Two or three hours of every day are spent in 
eating, and even more time is devoted to the ever-present quest 
for something to eat. Lord Lytton jingled truth when he said, 

We may live without poetry, music and art; 
We may live without conscience and five without heart; 
We may live without friends; we may live without books; 
But civilized man cannot five without cooks. 

He may live without books, — what is knowledge but grieving? 
He may live without hope, — what is hope but deceiving? 
He may live without love, — what is passion but pining? 
But where is the man that can live without dining? 2 

Wisdom in eating brings both health and happiness. From the 
baby's first whimper to the nonagenarian's last sigh there is pleas- 
ure as well as welfare in the art of dining. Immanuel Kant ad- 
vised us never to eat alone. "Let your dinner companions be 
more than the Graces and fewer than the Muses," was the 
counsel of that venerable philosopher who managed his life so 
effectively that it marked a turning point in the pursuit of 
knowledge. 

A meal is a sacrament of friendship. Attractive dishes, shining 
silver, beautiful appointments, and atmosphere provide the con- 
text for joy. The high art of weaving a pattern of values from 
the complex of esthetic foods and appointments is more than 
home economics. It is the practice of gracious living. There is a 
deep grain in human nature which responds to the ancient doc- 

=E. R. B. Lytton, Lucile, Part I, Canto 2, XIX. 



109 



trine that the sharing of food binds the partakers in a seal of 
fellowship. 

The pleasure derived from taking food in babyhood mildly 
conditions the organism to seek delight in the process of eating 
even when there is no physical need for food. This gratification 
predisposes most people to eat more than is beneficial to health. 
Hunger is frequently the desire for the active process of eating 
rather than the body's request for food. Good management of 
health requires recognition of the nature of hunger and thirst in 
order that life can be enjoyed to the fullest instead of impairing 
the digestive system by overloading. 

Sleep is the logical conclusion to a happy day. The radiant 
person is one who sleeps soundly. Many disputes and irritations 
arise from sleeplessness, and one of the major obstacles to healthy 
living is the loss of sleep. Crowded schedules of work and recre- 
ation impinge upon the third of life needed for the rebuilding of 
body and spirit addressed by Keats in his poem "To Sleep": 

O soft embalmer of the still midnight, 

Shutting, with careful fingers and benign, 

Our gloom-pleased eyes, embowered from the light, 
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine. 

Sleeping pills are a poor substitute for the normal drowsiness 
that descends at the end of a day's work. There is no better evi- 
dence of widespread contemporary neurosis than the shocking 
number of tranquilizers consumed by the most highly civilized 
portion of the human race. 

The attitude with which one approaches sleep is very impor- 
tant. A clear conscience is just as essential as a comfortable mat- 
tress; spiritual trust is as necessary as physical weariness. Prayer 
is a natural prelude to sound slumber. The child's prayer gives 
him a mind aware of the boundless security of his heavenly 
Father's presence. The psalmist reminds his hearers that God 
does not slumber which tells them, by implication, to go ahead 
and sleep and trust God. The much debated "Now I lay me 



110 



down to sleep" is probably more appropriate to an old person 
than to a child who has little likelihood of death before waking. 
Nevertheless, there is sound psychology and true religion in the 
surrender of all care and concern to God the heavenly Father 
who watches while his children yield to 

Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care, 
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, 
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, 
Chief nourisher in life's feast. 3 

Jesus of Nazareth slept so soundly and in such complete trust 
that a storm at sea did not disturb his slumber even when the 
boat was in danger and the disciples in panic. 

Exercise for health would have sounded silly to our outdoor 
ancestors who lived by the chase and the field. Yet today our 
modes of life are so far removed from the conditions to which 
our bodies are best adapted that we must exercise or pay the 
price in loss of health and energy. Moderation is the keynote to 
exercise. The Greek inscription over the temple of Apollo at 
Delphi, "Not too much," might be put over every gymnasium, 
golf course, or other recreation area. College athletes frequently 
die at an early age from overexertion for the dear old Alma 
Mater. 

Opportunities for exercise are open to everyone. Almost any- 
one can take a walk, and learn something about his community 
while he is doing it. Climbing stairs instead of taking an eleva- 
tor may provide a valuable health aid if the heart is sound and 
if done in moderation. The sports that provide the thrill of 
companionship and competition with a demand for physical 
exertion are to be preferred over sedentary games for those 
whose work does not fulfill all needs of exercise. A garden or 
a workshop has been the salvation of many desk-weary execu- 
tives and clerks. Henry Ward Beecher gave his preaching a 
practical turn when he said, "There are many troubles you can- 



'Shakespeare, Macbeth. Act II, Scene 2. 



Ill 



not cure by the Bible and hymn book, but you can cure by a 
good perspiration and a breath of fresh air." 

A modern businessman walks down the street and greets a 
friend, "Hello, John, how do you feel today?" John probably 
says "Fine" with considerable hypocrisy. For the fact may very 
well be that John doesn't know how he feels. He took liquor to 
hide his real feelings before he went to sleep. He awoke with 
a headache and a vague uneasiness. Immediately he smoked a 
cigarette to avoid finding out how he really felt. Several cups 
of coffee stimulated the organism sufficiently to hide the true 
condition. More cigarettes, aspirin, more coffee, then liquor 
again, are needed to hide the truth. No, John does not know 
how he feels and is doing his level best to avoid the discovery 
of his secret. Management of health requires one to take as few 
poisons into the body as possible. Stimulants in moderation may 
be practically harmless, but they should not be used as a cloak 
to cover the actual state of health. 

Serenity is God's blessed gift to the fortunate person who 
brings his life under control and gains command of his own ac- 
tivities. Emotional upset is such a powerful stimulant that all 
other elements of life management may be vitiated by too much 
adrenalin in the blood stream. An analysis of the directions and 
tendencies of the human organism with regard to health would 
not amount to much without the recognition of the part which 
one's mental attitude plays in the drama of life. The press of a 
myriad duties crowding in on one is mitigated by a person's 
ability to do one thing at a time without going into a dither. 
There is great wisdom in the remark of the languid old sage 
who counseled, "If you have a thousand and one things to do, 
He down and take a nap. Then you will have only a thousand." 
The great issues of life can be handled if they are not compli- 
cated by a flight into some emotional evasion. 

There come times in every life when circumstance demands 
a basic consideration of one's whole human venture. Such a 
situation confronted Luigi Cornaro, c. 1467-1566. When he 
was only forty years of age the doctors told him that he had 



112 



come to the end of his life. This engaging Venetian nobleman 
put the lie to their prediction by living to the amazing age of 
ninety-eight years, and may be considered the father of modern 
hygienic living. His method was nothing other than the com- 
mon-sense management of his life. The theme of his entire Dis- 
coursi Sulla Vita Sobria was moderation. His aim was to co- 
operate with nature and trust God for all that he could not con- 
trol. His abstemious mode of life gave him great energy as well 
as a long life. The reorganization of his daily routine which fol- 
lowed the shock of facing death at forty not only gave vision for 
his own life but showed the possibilities for every human being. 

Beyond the present person with his inventory of health and 
analysis of tendencies looms the possible person with increased 
energy, extended life, and more significant activities. Everyone 
could improve his mode of living in such a way as to release new 
energy and tap new resources of health. An illness may be just 
the experience necessary to demand review and bring vision. 
Perhaps reading these pages will inspire a nobler use of physical 
capital. The achievements of heroic men and women perpetually 
lure others to make their own lives more effective. 

W. E. Garrison was only thirty when the doctor sent him West 
to live out a brief life cut short by tuberculosis. Today, in his 
eighties, he is hale and hearty, having retired from the chair of 
Church History at the University of Chicago to become Profes- 
sor of Philosophy at the University of Houston in 1951. His 
amazing recovery was largely the result of vision and life man- 
agement. Instead of thinking about his physical condition he did 
what he could to improve it and then forgot about health in the 
pursuit of important concerns. He became president of a college 
in New Mexico, where he lived in the desert to battle his disease. 
He gained so rapidly that he was able to return to the East for 
a busy career of writing, teaching, and lecturing. Primary in his 
life have been a sensible attitude, moderation, and vision. He put 
his life philosophy in a poem which could serve as a guide to 
intelligent conduct. 



113 



I have no care for what the world may do to me, 

For I have riches that it cannot take 

And poverty that it cannot enrich — 

And the rest does not greatly matter. 

I love life, but I do not fear death, 

For it is cool and comforting and friendly. 

I enjoy ease and splendid idleness. 

But I can sleep soundly on a hard bed 

And hurry without being rushed, 

And work to weariness yet not be fretted. 

Even pain is oftener friend than enemy, 

And the fear of it is more poignant than the pain of it. 

I am not apprehensive about the loss of friends, 

For they cannot be lost while we are worthy of each other. 

It is good to have things beautiful about one — 

Pictures and books, a garden and a house, 

And a good fiddle is a great help too — 

But it is not bad to be without them, 

To tread the path without baggage, 

To have only what all men have, or could if they would, 

For the colors of dawn are cheap and stars cost nothing, 

If the hands are empty, they may all the better 

Fling greetings to the world, embrace dear friends, 

Or be uplifted in oblations of pure gratitude. 

It is not bitter to be scorned for empty-handedness 

When one has learned to pity all the scorners. 

I am not indifferent to the things men buy with money, 

And I will work as hard as any man ought to get them, 

But I refuse to get excited about them, 

Or to bow down and worship them, 

Or to think of them as necessary, 

Or to lose a friend to win a kingdom, 

Or to uproot one flower of fancy 

To lay the foundation of a marble palace. 

I will work today for a guerdon long deferred ; 



114 



I will labor to plant a tree in the distant hope of fruit — 
Perhaps not for my gathering and eating — 
For ease is not important 
And planting is as beautiful as harvesting. 
But I will not poison a moment with fear or anger, 
Or starve a day with empty-heartedness. 
Who kills a day of fragrant loveliness 
Kills an inch of himself, for life is a day, and a day, 
and a day. 

There are many waters in the sea. 

The surface is whipped to foam, 

Thundering waves roll over it, 

Dangerous gales sweep it 

And every little boat is tossed and driven, 

And men say, "The sea is rough," 

But the real sea is very calm. 

Only on the surface are the threatening surges men 

think dangerous. 
They are dangerous — to those who live on the surface. 
But there are no dangers in the quiet depths. 
All the billows have gone over me — 
But it is a small matter, for the billows are not the ocean. 
My dwelling is not in the waves of circumstance, 
But deep in the peaceful, infinite ocean of life. 

The sky is high past all imagining. 

A child can touch the place where it begins, 

But sight, imagination and mathematics placed end to end 

Can never reach the top. 

At the bottom, in a thin stratum of variable weather, 

Clouds, winds and lightnings threaten, bluster, flash, 

And men say, "The sky is stormy." 

But the deep sky, the real sky, is never stormy. 

My sky is not this negligible sediment of clouds, 

This film of murk, 



115 



This agitated curtain of unrest 

Draping the door that leads to illimitable quiet. 

My sky is the vast where stars move silently 

In the peace of the presence of God. 

Therefore I shall not be troubled by what the world 

may do to me, 
Because it can do nothing that matters. 4 

The vision of the person one could be is an idle daydream 
without the step-by-step program that brings the improved state 
into actual achievement. Wishing to be slender removes no un- 
sightly adipose tissue. The reduction of caloric content in the 
diet with a careful observance of the requirements as outlined 
by a competent physician is the path to the realized dream of 
willowy proportions. The desire to improve posture means noth- 
ing without exercises that strengthen the muscles needed to make 
the person comfortable in his new and desired posture. The most 
intense longing for social approval which comes with sober and 
abstinent living is a pious wish unless there is a plan whereby 
the bibulous servant of alcohol can stay away from it a day at a 
time continuously until the habits of sobriety grow easier. The 
hope that tomorrow will bring release from that tired and fagged- 
out feeling is reaching for the moon unless there is the imple- 
mentation of a plan for providing the habits, vitamins, attitudes, 
and physical health that can afford the surplus energy. The road 
to achievement in health as in anything else is a vision, a plan, 
and boundless enthusiasm for the next step. 

The source of health, happiness, and wisdom is God our 
heavenly Father. But not even God can make man well and 
happy without his help. It is the divine intention that every one 
of his children co-operate in the magnificent venture of living 
with vital happiness and moral rectitude. This involves the great- 
est resourcefulness and intelligence each one can command. 
There is no magic by which to defeat disease, stupidity, and 
tragedy. There is the inescapable requirement to manage a life- 

4 Used by permission of the author. 



116 



time in such a way that the boundless loving care and saving 
health of God can be fulfilled in each human life for the bene- 
fit of all who come under the influence of that life. This means 
the discipline of patient understanding, honest decisions directed 
by wisdom, and complete commitment to the Author and Fin- 
isher of all human destiny. 

All healing is divine healing. No physician can cause a broken 
bone to knit. He can set the bone and provide optimum condi- 
tions for it to grow back together, but the actual healing of the 
fracture is the power of God. The work of the doctor is itself 
an instrument of divine grace. The development of medical sci- 
ence since the days of Aesculapius has been the work of God 
through increased knowledge for his healing servants, greater 
skill, and more effective techniques in devoting this knowledge 
to the health of mankind. People travel around the world to see 
the miraculous healing at Lourdes. The lame and ailing come 
with hope of a visitation of divine favor from the Virgin Mary, 
who is believed to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous here 
on August 20, 1858. Many leave their crutches, aches, and symp- 
toms there to face life with new vigor and deepened faith. The 
divine favor is just as apparent and even more consistently pres- 
ent at any great hospital where the bruised and infirm, broken 
and diseased enter to receive the healing power of God at work 
through nurses and doctors, drugs and surgery, laboratories, 
and controlled conditions that provide the conditions necessary 
for God's gracious gift of health and strength. 

It would be nothing short of a revelation if a person could 
take a pilgrimage within his own organism to become aware of 
the vast resources for healing at work night and day without so 
much as an awareness on the part of the person who benefits. 
Dr. R. C. Cabot in his Vis Medicatrix Dei makes a tremendous 
case for empirical theology on the basis of the struggle for health 
in the human body. A germ of rheumatism touches the heart, 
impairing its functioning, and the heart enlarges to carry the 
load in spite of the damage. An eye is injured and the other 
becomes more versatile and keen of vision. The other senses com- 



117 



pensate for the loss of sight in case of blindness. When infection 
attacks the tissue, white corpuscles rush to the scene of action and 
battle to their death in behalf of health. The metabolic rate rises 
to aid in the struggle, and pain comes as a warning of danger 
and a signal of distress. The balance of heat and chemistry in 
the body is nothing short of miraculous. A person walks from a 
heated room into a frigid outdoor temperature and his internal 
temperature stays the same. He goes from sea level to the top of 
a mountain and the respiratory system and blood stream accom- 
modate themselves to the new condition. There is no necessity 
for one to change his thermostat or increase his oxygen intake. 
God works for man's health through the wisdom of the organ- 
ism. He requires only that the individual manage his life in such 
a way that he can let the great Physician have a chance to cure 
him and give him more health and happiness. 

The crisis of health management is in the performance. Today 
practically everyone knows enough about diet, exercise, disease 
control, hygiene, and medical care to be a paragon of strength, 
beauty, and health. Enough energy to tackle any situation should 
be the common lot, but the average person lacks the will or power 
to translate his knowledge into redeeming action. Even when he 
knows that the late cup of coffee will disturb sleep, he takes it. 
If he is too fat, he cannot resist the lure of high-calorie foods. 
He postpones the needed check-up or surgery. He fondles — then 
consumes — the extra cocktail that brings disaster. He intends to 
establish health habits, keep regular hours, get his exercise, and 
control food intake tomorrow or next week — but he allows the 
days to become weeks and the weeks become years until finally 
a tombstone terminates the complex sentence of his good in- 
tentions. 

How can he change this routine and learn to live as efficiently 
as possible? If he tries to change, he merely adds fear, anxiety, 
and neurosis to his sloth and bad habits. The hypochondriac 
who nurses his beloved symptom and enjoys his ill health is the 
tragic result of too much effort to be well. The Great Physician 
taught that the only way to save one's life is to give it away. 



118 



To give it away in such important life ventures that all other 
things are subordinate is itself the beginning of wise manage- 
ment. As one abdicates from petty fears and worries about his 
health, the Lord takes over to cure him. The abdication involves 
the most adequate possible medical guidance and the most in- 
telligent conduct of life. It may be that some severe illness is 
the only way in which one can gain sufficient humility and vi- 
sion to give his life away in wise fashion and happy abandon 
to worthy ideals. It may require some traumatic experience 
such as came to Carnaro to stab him out of his lethargy and 
show him the need for change. Soon or late by growth or shock 
he is forced to re-order his life in such a way as to let God have 
a chance to give him health and happiness. 

Jesus Christ shared the secret of happy living with his dis- 
ciples. When they were famishing with hunger and languid 
with weariness, he was eager and vigorous. When they marveled 
at his endurance, he said, "I have food to eat of which you do 
not know." When they were frightened on the sea at night, he 
was fast asleep. The secret he gave to them is that God really 
owned their lives and supplied their needs. Yet he made each 
man responsible for the management of his life, the satisfaction 
of his needs, and the fulfillment of his vocation. 

This sacramental view of everyday life unfolded dramatically 
to a woman who lived in an old building at Bradford-on-Avon. 
Some of the many layers of paint began to scale from her bed- 
room wall. The color beneath the surface coat was so rich in 
quality and varied in pattern that it suggested an oil painting 
rather than merely a previous coat of wall tint. She called her 
minister to ask what he thought the colors might mean. The 
clergyman asked an architect to come and examine the under- 
lying pigment. The architect removed the outer layers to reveal 
a beautiful mural of angels. A more extensive examination re- 
vealed an excellent painting of the Lord's Supper on the din- 
ing room walls. The modern multiple dwelling had once been 
a church and the dining room had been the original chancel. 
In amazement the devout woman said to her minister, "Here 



119 



I was guarded by angels when I slept and every meal I ate was 
the Lord's Supper, but I didn't know anything about it!" All 
lives are like that. God gives everyone his daily bread with 
knowledge to eat it wisely. He gives sleep when weariness set- 
tles down like a friendly cloud. He gives health and happiness 
when the individual does his part. This healthy prayer might 
very well be appropriated by all God's children to their ever- 
lasting happiness: 

Give me a good digestion, Lord, 
And also something to digest ; 
Give me a healthy body, Lord, 
With sense to keep it at its best. 

Give me a healthy mind, O Lord, 
To keep the good and pure in sight ; 
Which, seeing sin, is not appalled, 
But has the wit to set it right. 

Give me a mind that is not bored, 
That does not whimper, whine or sigh; 
Don't let me worry overmuch, 
About the fussy thing called "I." 

Give me a sense of humour, Lord, 
Give me the grace to see a joke ; 
To get some happiness in life, 
And pass it on to other folk. 

— Thomas H. B. Webb 



120 



8 



THE TIME 
OF YOUR LIFE 



The years of our life are threescore and ten, 
or even by reason of strength fourscore ; 

So teach us to number our days 
that we may get a heart of wisdom. 

—Psalm 90:10, 12 

Nobody has enough time, yet everybody wastes it. No subject 
enjoys a greater body of distinguished literature than the employ- 
ment of one's time. There is enough good advice from both sa- 
cred and secular sources to make everyone a sage with achieve- 
ments worthy of genius if he could only live by the precepts his 
words repeat. From the time of the psalmist, who prayed God 
to teach us to number our days, through Arnold Bennett, who 
started the last generation down the road to peace, power, and 
plenty with his How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day, there 
has been the persistent need for every human being to make bet- 
ter use of his time. The wise management of the lavish gift of 
years which comes unsolicited from the heavenly Father is a 
treasured art because it is so poorly practiced. 

Mere duration is an inadequate and artificial way to measure 
the time of our earthly sojourn. Intensity of experience may pack 
more life into a few brief years than could enter in a century of 
bored existence. The reserve which is available for management 



121 



is vastly greater for the alert and sensitive person than for the 
calloused person even though they both live to a comparable age. 
Ben Jonson spoke truly when he said: 

It is not growing like a tree 

In bulk, doth make men better be ; 
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year, 
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear: 
A lily of a day 
Is fairer far, in May, 

Although it fall and die that night; 

It was the plant and flower of light. 
In small proportions we just beauties see; 
And in short measures life may perfect be. 1 

Furthermore, a person's life may cast a significant influence 
even after the last bell has tolled for his earthly existence. To the 
extent that one participates in history or shares in the develop- 
ment of other lives he does not die with the grave. The Orientals 
glory in the fact that the parent lives on in his children and his 
children's children forever. The carving of Phidias, the poetry of 
Homer, and the music of Bach are all contemporary. There is 
no grim reaper whose bending sickle can reduce to withered 
residue the spiritual growth of a human life into history. Who- 
ever builds great monuments, bends the direction of destiny, 
writes immortal music, or performs his simple task with enough 
creative genius that the world remembers, is handling not only 
the days of his years but also the days of his influence. George 
Eliot had just this fact in mind when she wrote : 

O, may I join the choir invisible 

Of those immortal dead who live again 

In minds made better by their presence: live 

In pulses stirred to generosity, 

In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn 

For miserable aims that end with self, 



'From "A Pindaric Ode." 



122 



In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, 
And with their mild persistence urge man's search • 
To vaster issues. 

After one has assessed his store of calendar time and historical 
time, he still has a temporal dimension that requires wisdom. 
There is the relation of man's time to God's eternity. When asked 
to clarify this point Augustine answered, "What then is time? 
If no one asks me I know : If I wish to explain to him who asks, 
I know not." Yet every one is aware of the contrast between time 
and eternity, finite and infinite, creature and creator. A lad who 
sought wisdom went to an old hermit with a request for a maxim 
that would help him in times of success and in times of adversity. 
The old sage greeted him graciously but gave no precious proverb 
to serve as a spiritual talisman against the exigencies of a com- 
plex life. The boy was about to leave, thinking his long climb 
through mountain glens and over lofty ridges had been in vain. 
The sage, however, called him back and whispered, "This, too, 
is a part of eternity." The finely wrought figure on top of a 
Greek column seen only by God was fashioned by a man who 
worked under the canopy of eternal heavens. Livingstone, who 
dressed for dinner in the heart of equatorial Africa where he was 
seen only by God and the wild beasts, was aware of the eternal. 
There is the grace of God which touches man's moment with 
immortality. 

The great shock to the time manager comes when he grimly 
faces the facts of his own time-wasting habits. The middle years 
come on apace only to bring one to the startled realization that 
life is half gone and he has little to show of his youth. The busi- 
ness of effective living demands a candid appraisal of one's 
habits. If one were to budget the things to be done in the next 
twenty-four hours, he would find the total adding up to more 
time than the day affords. He cannot increase his budget; con- 
sequently he must ruthlessly cut out some of the things to be 
done. Sleep will not stand much cutting, neither will the time 
required to earn a living. The person who is vocationally well 



123 



adjusted may find this time the most enjoyable and creative of 
his entire store. If he takes nine hours for work and eight for 
sleep, he still has seven hours for eating, recreation, self -improve- 
ment, hobbies, diversion, and civilized loafing. If he adds to this 
Sundays and vacations, he learns that he has a considerable block 
of time parceled out for the enrichment of life. A systematic re- 
view of the past week will reveal patterns of waste never sus- 
pected. When a dear old lady of the South was asked what she 
did for amusement, she replied, "O, I sit here on the porch and 
fan myself." Most people talk too much and say too little. They 
prose on and on about their little silly selves without asking to 
what end they speak. They get interested in some one hobby and 
ride it until it throws them. The addict of golf, bridge, fishing, 
romance, movies, music, driving, or making mud pies simply 
illustrates the witticism, "A hobby is anything we go goofy about 
to keep from going nuts about things in general." 

The art of turning the searchlight of deliberate choice on the 
habits of spending time is revealing, but is only one aspect of 
an analytical consideration of how to spend a life. The problems 
that confront the person whose high resolve prompts him to re- 
member the philosophic words "The unexamined life is one unfit 
to be lived by a man" are part of the immediate consideration. 
Life today is lived under the tyranny of the clock. From the 
cradle to the grave there is a series of deadlines, the necessity for 
almost constant rushing from one thing to another. One who has 
not faced more deadlines than he is emotionally prepared to 
make has achieved very little. Today's culture has scourged man 
into a helter-skelter race for a variety of only hazily defined goals. 
There is deep pathos in the lines of Kenneth Fearing : 

And wow he died as wow he lived, 

Going whop to the office and blooie home to 

sleep and biff got married and bam had 

children and oof got fired. 
Zowie did he live and zowie did he die. 2 



2 Reprinted from New and Selected Poems by Kenneth Fearing, published by Indiana 
University Press, copyright 1956 by Kenneth Fearing. 



124 



Since there seems to be no way to reduce the demands of a 
hurried life, a method must be determined whereby one can ac- 
complish a reasonable number of those duties and pleasures to 
which he aspires or is called without getting stomach ulcers or 
high blood pressure. The counsel of proportion is the counsel of 
wisdom. Rare is the human who can distinguish between the 
trivial and the significant to the end that he can know at once 
how his time can best be spent with reference to the ideals for 
which he lives. But the great art of living is the practice of pro- 
portion, balance, and alternation in a manner consistent with 
health and a worthy aim, which at the same time brings suc- 
cess in one's enterprise. 

Before one can achieve the rhythm of life that brings optimum 
achievement, he must have vision. The possible must impinge 
upon the actual in such a way as to create a compelling tension. 
An aged Presbyterian minister dramatized this need for antici- 
pated attainment in a lecture called "Be Good to the Old Man." 
When he came to our chapel, I thought he was going to lecture 
on how we should regard our parents. As he warmed to his sub- 
ject, however, I concluded he was about to make a speech on 
old-age pensions. I was certain that the subject announced must 
be a kind of special pleading. The drama of surprise followed 
the suspense when he laid the proposition for that unforgettable 
chapel speech, "Be good to the old man you are going to be 
some day. 3 ' The real delight of life is reserved for the person who 
can combine the thrust of youth with the harvest of tragedy. All 
but the stripling agrees with George Bernard Shaw, "Youth is 
a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children." The 
time to safeguard health is before it is badly damaged. The best 
time to regret a mistake is before it is made. "Be good to the 
old person that you will be some day." There is no greater joy 
than the sense of gratitude one feels for the crimes he did not 
commit when temptation called. 

Man's vision is the principal factor in every brilliant career. 
It is the basis for economic success as well as the pole star of 
fame. It has great bearings on one's physical appearance and is 



125 



the prelude to character. Abraham Lincoln once refused to ap- 
point a man to office with the abrupt comment, "I don't like 
his face." "But," said the entreating friend, "he had nothing to 
do with the sort of face God gave him." "O yes he had," an- 
swered Lincoln, "he's forty years old and has had time to make 
it what it is." 

The secret of learning to play the piano is to find genuine de- 
light and satisfaction in practice. This is possible only when there 
is vision of future attainment and enough tension capacity to 
wait and work. The secret of manners and skill in human rela- 
tions comes in a glimpse of the possible social grace which only 
dimly appears to the person who is trying to learn. Great social 
reform is possible only when the redeemed future becomes com- 
pulsively real enough to elicit dedicated action. The kingdom of 
God appeared to Jesus Christ above the buzzing, noisy, dirty 
market places of an ancient Oriental city. 

PROGRAM 

The lure of an ideal remains nothing but a lure without a 
practical program for its achievement or at least some progress 
in that direction. A person who knows very well how much more 
enlightened, successful, and happy he could be may fail to pro- 
gress for want of a plan. The necessary plan for managing one's 
time is to develop a set of habits that move in the desired direc- 
tion in order that deliberate choice can be reserved for doubtful 
issues. Man lives by habit. A person who spends all his spare 
time in small talk or reading detective stories does so on a purely 
habitual basis. The amount of time thus invested would appall 
him. The problem, therefore, is to develop habits that will en- 
rich life. 

The second factor in a plan for advantageous use of time is 
a rhythm of work and play, activity and rest, study and practice, 
worship and sendee. Nobody can work all the time. The principle 
of one day's rest in seven is not only good religion, but good 
biology, psychology, and economics. A person can do more 



126 



work in six days than in seven. The alternation between effort 
and withdrawal for inner renewal is basic to all human endeavor. 
The same principle is relevant to a day's work or a game of golf. 
Mobilization and relaxation are the rhythm of life. The great 
joy of climbing a mountain comes when the weary pilgrim pauses 
to see the long steep way he has traversed. The moment of tran- 
quil approval that comes to the artist as he sees the form and 
color blend into unity after the brush stroke is as essential to the 
picture as the stroke itself. 

The third requirement is the art of grasping the spare moment 
and putting it to work. John Erskine became a competent pianist 
by playing a few minutes when he normally would have frittered 
away his time. Even two or three minutes advanced his cause. 
Out of an amazing schedule of teaching and writing he managed 
to achieve a skill that brought pleasure to him, enjoyment to his 
friends, and an inspiring example to all. The man who matters 
makes the spare moment serve some worthy enterprise that has 
lasting value. 

The two extremes to be avoided at all costs are boredom and 
frantic haste. The tragedy of killing time approaches high crime. 
William James once remarked on the futility of the Christian 
hope for the person who has no good use for time. "They do 
not know how to use a day creatively. An hour weighs heavily 
upon their hands. Yet we offer them rolling ages of eternity." 
The wise manager not only shuns boredom, but realizes that 
wasting time bores him. One who acts with undue haste is just as 
far from a constructive course of action, for he tries to do a thou- 
sand things at once and winds up doing nothing. The art of life 
is to hurry without being rushed and to wait without being bored. 

Every moment of life should be enjoyed. The person who kills 
an hour in vain regret of some past failure, sin, or blunder de- 
stroys that much of himself. He would better repent and meet a 
new situation with more insight. Anxiety is the enemy of the joy 
which every passing moment might yield. Undue concern for 
what might happen tomorrow or next year is the enemy of hap- 
piness. The present age is beset by a kind of "anticipatory neuro- 



127 



sis." Its people are afraid of a war, a depression, an illness, an 
accident, old age, and death. They are so eager to be great to- 
morrow that they fail to be happy today. The mother is so eager 
to develop a man that she fails to enjoy her son while he is a 
boy. Life requires no cosmic guarantee. It is available for human 
happiness. Neither regret for the past, anxiety over the future, 
envy of a competitor, nor the distraction of some morose sense 
of guilt should rob a moment's ecstasy. 



RESOURCES 

The whole world stands poised to help the person who knows 
how to spend time. Opportunity knocks but once, but it comes 
on the day of birth and stays until the day of doom. Everyone 
is surrounded by an unlimited number of worthy things to do 
and is supplied with God's help to do them. Each morning repre- 
sents a new chance. Carlyle was right when he called his friends 
to consider the moment : 

So here hath been dawning 

Another blue day : 
Think, wilt thou let it 

Slip useless away? 

God supplies man with boundless resources for managing time. 
He gives him the great drives and purposes that know no rest 
until he fulfils his duties. No Turner landscape would delight the 
eye, had not restless impatience with an ugly world compelled 
the artist to put his brush to the canvas. The majestic glory of 
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony resulted from the yearnings for a 
more ordered and appealing world of sound which lifted him 
from a multitude of distractions to write the immortal score. 
There are in every human being reserves of will power that can 
be tapped in interest of utilized time. This is the exact meaning 
of the beatitude "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for 



128 



righteousness." When appetite for worthy achievement demands 
satisfaction, time becomes a slave instead of a tyrant. 

In companionship there is a resource for time management. 
A person can get an education quite apart from school. The 
difficulty which keeps most people from pursuing such a course 
of study is the waste of time which is often associated with soli- 
tary effort. A school saves time. A company of scholarly teachers 
and studious companions in a context of libraries, classrooms, 
and traditions of learning set the pattern which makes it possible 
for even the dawdler to graduate in good time. The person who 
aspires to music will save time by getting a teacher and com- 
panions who will expect practice and thereby inspire it. Friends, 
on the other hand, can also waste one's time. Seneca was plagued 
by such companions when he wrote, "There is nothing we can 
properly call our own but our time, yet everybody fools us out 
of it who has a mind to do it." The great resource of a fellowship 
that will encourage achievement and stimulate the assiduous use 
of fleeting moments is another of God's lavish gifts to aid us in 
our pilgrimage of years. 

The greatest resource for living is reserved for that person who 
completely commits his life to God. There is truth as well as 
alliteration in the remark: "Reservation is the damnation of 
consecration." Every human being is a child of God, but many 
are devoid of the filial attitude which surrounds the affair of 
day-by-day living with a rainbow of meaning. The conviction 
that the heavenly Father expects his child to "work the works 
of God while it is yet today" transforms personality. The bound- 
less presence of eternity pervades each moment with trust, mean- 
ing, and a sense of mission. Instead of obligation to save time 
with its consequent effort, failure, and frustration there is aspira- 
tion, which surmounts failure as an eagle rises above the storm. 
Call the roll of people whose lives gleam like beacon lights across 
the landscape of human endeavor and they will answer as men 
possessed. God is not only the source of lives but the resource of 
our ordered living. The old Grammarian, according to Browning, 
acknowledged eternity as the final ground of time : 



129 



Others mistrust and say, "But time escapes: 

Live now or never !" 
He said, "What's time? Leave Now for dogs and apes! 

Man has Forever!" 

PERFORMANCE 

A four-point program can perform the magic of translating 
the sentimental wish into the realized accomplishment. It is as 
old as humanity and as new as a bright tomorrow morning. It 
is written into the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel. Psycholo- 
gists prescribe it, educators teach it, and the saints of every com- 
mon human way practice it. To manage time one must begin 
now, give attention to one thing at a time, persist in the pursuit 
of the envisaged goals, and yield control to God. 

There is no time like this very minute to begin. Today is the 
tomorrow that was talked of yesterday. There is no accomplish- 
ment without a beginning; motivation accelerates with achieve- 
ment. The future is right now. He who would see Rome, Mecca, 
or Jerusalem before he dies must begin now. The Chinese have 
a proverb: "To go around the world one must first get off his 
own doorstep." They have yet another: "The dawn never comes 
twice to wake a man." He who would paint must procure the 
material and begin. He who would write must put his pen to 
paper. He who would grow rich must enlarge his fortune of pen- 
nies until they become nickels and dimes. The road to London 
town is truly "one foot up and one foot down." The time now 
spent in fruitless talk and worthless idling can become the grow- 
ing margin of true significance. Vices become virtues; failures 
become successes; griefs become joys when we break the strangle 
hold of old custom and habit to begin a new way of life. The 
way may be difficult but it is a glorious adventure. 

The next step is to do one thing at a time. A one-man band 
may be a curiosity but it is a poor substitute for a symphony 
orchestra in which each person does one thing at a time. The 
haphazard, rushed, scattered, and hectic life results from trying 



130 



to give attention to many things at the same time. The intensive 
person whose life amounts to something mobilizes his powers 
for one project, then moves on to the next. He may have many 
ventures in process at the same time, but he arranges them in 
such fashion that he is able to accomplish each one in order. It 
is wise to plan a day's required activities in a general way for a 
sort of guide, but never to attempt myriad items at once. There 
is the parable of the little mathematical clock which ticked twice 
a second. With complete nervous exhaustion the little clock held 
its horrified hands in front of its bewildered face and stopped in 
complete frustration when it discovered that it would be ticking 
63,072,000 times in a year. The wise old grandfather clock in 
the hall gave the saving advice, "Take one tick at a time." The 
power to perform lies in a principle just that simple. 

There is no more universal character in Pilgrim's Progress 
than Ready to Halt. There is a time in everyone's attempt to live 
on a time budget or by a program for time management when 
it would be simple to scrap the whole thing and live like an 
oyster. However, "it is better to be Socrates unhappy than an 
oyster happy." When the temptation to quit becomes too allur- 
ing, then one must put cotton in his ears, lash himself to the 
mast, and sail like Ulysses past the Sirens. There are times in life 
when sheer grit, determination, and perseverance are the most 
worthy attributes. 

Finally the end can be realized by giving up and letting God 
take over. This is not contradictory to intelligent planning and 
persistent action. It is rather the only way that these can be ful- 
filled. It is the practice of complete and absolute devotion to God, 
the source of all human good. The great musician plays his best 
only when the music plays him. The saint is truly saintly only 
when goodness is fulfilled in his attitudes. The skillful ball player 
makes the master stroke when the game controls his swing. Man 
lives in such a way that he redeems time only when he can say 
with Paul, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in 
me." 



131 



WITHIN MY 
EARTHLY TEMPLE 



Within my earthly temple there's a crowd ; 
There's one of us that's humble, one that's proud, 
There's one that's broken-hearted for his sins, 
There's one that unrepentant sits and grins ; 
There's one that loves his neighbor as himself, 
And one that cares for naught but fame and pelf. 
From much corroding care I should be free 
If once I could determine which is me. 

— Edward Sanford Martin 

In Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman, a neighbor says 
of Willie Lohman, "He didn't know who he was." Willie had 
this problem in common with many people. Consciously or un- 
consciously a person is forever asking, "Who am I?" The answer 
is far from simple, for the human personality is amazingly com- 
plex. A person thinks of himself in many different roles, since 
life involves a vast range of activities and an ever-changing series 
of adjustments. In times of less mobility and in more traditional 
cultures a person pretty well knew his place. Today the role and 
status of a person are beset with ambiguities. He moves in and 
out of many groups and finds himself variously regarded. His 
integrity as a person depends on his ability to recognize and ac- 
cept himself. The art of life is an effort to find a satisfactory an- 
swer to the question: "Who am I?" 



132 



NAMES 

A name is a means of identification for oneself as well as for 
other people. When a man says, "I am John Jones/' he tells 
many things about himself. The name goes with him when he 
moves from place to place. It provides him with certain status 
before the law, since he was registered in a birth certificate and 
must check out with a death certificate. The name identifies his 
property and enables him to transact business. It identifies his 
ancestry. By implication it places him in a family, a nation, a 
culture, and a race. All these identities have an important bear- 
ing on how he thinks of himself. They help him find out who he 
is. These facts help him understand why he is regarded as he is 
by other people. His name is a symbol of his status. He knows 
from experience what he can expect from many people he will 
meet in the future. John Jones will be estimated in a certain way 
on account of the meanings attached to the name by virtue of 
its implications. 

VOCATION 

A vocation tends to identify a person. A man is thought of 
and thinks of himself as a lawyer, a teacher, an engineer, a 
craftsman, a businessman, a doctor, or a farmer. He is so classi- 
fied in his community clubs and associations. In his own field 
the classification of his work is much more refined. He is known 
for his specialty as a patent attorney, or a heart specialist, a sixth 
vice-president of a certain bank, or a salesman for the tube divi- 
sion of a certain steel company located at Podunk City near 
Utopia. Any person who fills out a form for his income tax or a 
passport must give his occupation. The first question in an at- 
tempt to identify a man is likely to be: "What does he do?" In 
consequence, a person tends to develop a sense of pride in his 
work. His advancement, security, and standing depend on his 
reputation with reference to vocational achievement. An emo- 
tional quality attaches itself to a person's conception of his voca- 
tion. His prestige and sense of well-being depend on his perform- 



133 



ance. Anything which threatens or enhances his social standing 
is near to his heart. The remarks or glances of his associates at 
work or the attitudes of his family and close friends spur him on. 
Next to his name is his vocation. Even names are often deriva- 
tives of careers. Smith was derived from an occupation as were 
Ford, Tanner, Farmer, Driver, and Proctor. 

ASSOCIATIONS 

The groups to which a person belongs tend to identify him. A 
person thinks of himself as a Republican or a Democrat, a Har- 
vard man, or a Sigma Chi, a union man or a member of man- 
agement, an urbanite or a country boy. These associations range 
from casual to very precious. The sense of belonging may be suf- 
ficiently intense that a person would prefer death to exclusion 
from the group. Personal pride and security are mingled with 
the fellowship. The power of excommunication is illustrative of 
the terror involved in the loss of a sense of belonging. The com- 
bined sense of estrangement from God and exclusion from the 
community is enough to bring the errant member to complete 
desolation. Fear of the loss of love is one of the great motivational 
forces in human affairs. Escape from Freedom, by Erich Fromm 
and The Lonely Crowd, by David Riesman elaborate the nature 
and strength of this psychological attitude in our age. The joy 
of belonging to a cherished community is the positive side of 
the relationship between the individual and the group. A person 
locates himself, in part, by his group relationships. 

The inner life of a person may be complicated by his group 
relations. In childhood he may have learned to be one kind of 
person with his family and a different kind of person with his 
schoolmates. In adulthood he continues the art of playing a dif- 
ferent role in the several groups to which he belongs or hopes to 
belong. This may provide range and versatility for his personality 
if the disparities are not too contradictory. Tensions may develop 
when one's conception of himself in one role conflicts sharply 
with his conception of himself in another role. The guilt feelings 
which plagued him as a boy, when he was buying fellowship from 

134 



his gang at the expense of his family standards, may return to 
him with a vengeance in adult life as he lowers his standards in 
order to join into some group of "good fellows." Conflicts arise 
in ways that have no bearing on morals. He may find his values 
ridiculed in some group he is hoping to enter. His desire to belong 
may tempt him to join in the ridicule even though it is a form 
of self-flagellation. Ensuing conflicts may make him feel like a 
traitor to his own standards which are identified with other 
groups. Instead of finding himself, he is confused by his various 
selves. He plays the hypocrite even though he despises himself 
for doing so. 

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS 

A person thinks of himself as male or female, old or young, 
ailing or healthy. He feels strong or weak, vigorous or quiescent. 
He identifies himself as attractive or unattractive with consider- 
able emotional content in certain situations involving pride or 
humiliation. He may vacillate between "the ugly duckling" and 
"the beautiful swan" with a resulting conflict of identities de- 
pending on how he is regarded. All these physical characteristics 
carry some emotional tone. If his ego structure is weak, he may 
suffer considerable anguish. The beautiful girl disfigured in an 
accident may find self-acceptance difficult at a new level. A 
person may wage futile warfare against advancing years, and 
retirement may be a symbol of massive defeat. One clever lec- 
turer described the crises of life in terms of the shock which comes 
to the boy who finds out he cannot run as fast as his playmates 
and the greater shock when he finds out he cannot run as fast 
as he formerly did. But the greatest reverse comes when he dis- 
covers that he can no longer run at all. 

TEMPERAMENT 

Self-realization involves a sort of private autobiography. A 
person comes to think of himself as optimistic or pessimistic, 
cheerful or gloomy, realistic or visionary, heroic or cowardly, 

135 



tough-minded or tender-minded, as his personality is defined for 
him by the reconciliation of his inner images with the attitudes 
displayed toward him by other people. He comes to recognize 
himself as hot-tempered or patient, permissive or exacting. His 
self-conception may be at sharp variance with the facts as ob- 
served by his fellows. As T. V. Smith points out : "No man is an 
S.O.B. to himself." He may be unhappy with himself, but he 
must come to terms or disintegrate. As he rationalizes himself 
into more favorable light, he may widen the gap between his 
conception of himself and the conceptions which other people 
entertain with reference to him. Experience tends to correct the 
discrepancy. A persistent grouch who thinks of himself as cheer- 
ful but quiet is likely to notice that even the dogs run and hide 
as he approaches. The whining girl is forced to ask why she is 
avoided. Only an elaborate self-deceit can protect one from feel- 
ing the tension between inner image and outer appearance. 

Temperament factors rank second only to character in in- 
fluencing popularity with persons who are long-time acquaint- 
ances. Since social status is important for a sense of well-being, 
it is highly desirable for one to give attention to moods and emo- 
tional reactions as he attempts to manage his personality. Even 
though patterns of temperament form early, they can be modi- 
fied. A stormy person can bring his attitudes under control by 
finding socially acceptable channels of expression which will re- 
lieve his emotional charge. The sourpuss can modify his reactions 
by a process of emotional discipline which redirects his interests 
toward the more positive aspects of his experiences. The wall- 
flower can change her condition by devoting herself to other 
persons who are apparently lonely. The inner images and per- 
sonality goals of a person have a significant bearing on his total 
personality. The management of one's life is, therefore, the man- 
agement of the way one thinks of himself. "As a man thinketh 
in his heart, so is he." By intelligent and deliberate intention a 
person can become a more autonomous individual rather than 
a mere collection of partial people. 



136 



TASTES 

Likes and dislikes mark a person. Interests become structured 
into habits of taste and patterns of behavior. Conflicting interests 
may increase one's inner problems by pulling him in contradic- 
tory directions. The personal interior may become an encounter 
between the saint and the sinner, the playboy and the responsible 
father, the adventurer and the conservative. When such diversity 
is held in balance, the warfare can enhance the richness of per- 
sonality. Oliver Wendell Holmes could remark with admirable 
candor as he emerged from a very light musical comedy, "Thank 
God I am also low-minded." When the inner tumult gets out 
of hand, however, one's integrity can be seriously threatened. A 
man cannot play the role of a philandering lady-killer and a de- 
voted, faithful husband at the same time. Even if he can succeed 
in a program of deceit for a time, he must pay the price in loss 
of personal integrity. A woman cannot devote all her time to a 
career and all her time to her family simultaneously. Disparate 
interests can be one's undoing. The Lord spoke for the inner life 
as well as the outer when he said, "No man can serve two mas- 
ters." Singleness of purpose, giving emphasis to a major goal 
which subordinates all minor goals, is the path to inner peace 
and outer integrity. The person who discovers what he really 
prefers in a comprehensive manner has taken a substantial step 
toward finding out who he really is. 

PERSONAL HISTORY 

Life creates an accumulative record, and every experience 
makes one a somewhat different person. A traumatic encounter 
may leave an indelible mark on one's emotional life just as surely 
as an accident can leave its physical scars or handicaps. Achieve- 
ments can be of sufficient importance in one's own eyes to leave 
an abiding configuration of self-regard. A war record, for exam- 
ple, may influence one's self-estimate in a substantial fashion. 
The person who has held a high office is never quite the same. 
Harry Truman will always be a past president no matter where 



137 



he goes or what he does. A rare person may conceal his $BK 
key, but he will wear it on his inner vest. The person who has 
a criminal record will always have it even though he tries to for- 
get. Past experiences can develop conflicts if they involve con- 
tradiction. The memory of pride in some honored achievement 
may fight with the memory of humiliation in some failure or de- 
feat. A person vacillates in identification with one and the other 
as he seeks to locate himself. 

The art of life is a quest for inner unity which brings the welter 
of events and experiences into dynamic balance. The lad is 
friendly with the man he can become while the man of advanc- 
ing years keeps on good terms with the boy he once was. He 
learns to forgive the sins and failures without assuming an inner 
pose of excessive pride in his achievements. The contradictions 
are compromised into an acceptable pattern. The result is growth 
in meaning and a tendency toward an integrated and mature 
personality. 

GOALS 

David Starr Jordan was fond of telling his students, "All the 
world stands aside for the man who knows where he is going." 
Problems arise when a person tries to go in two directions at the 
same time. Promising careers are wrecked by contradictory goals. 
The old fable of the donkey between two bales of hay is derived 
from the ambivalent nature of the goals toward which a person 
strives. Unable to decide between the inviting alternatives, the 
donkey starved. In actual life the goals may be many instead of 
merely two. The claims of adventure and security, of dominance 
and subordination, of autonomy and community, clamor for un- 
divided attention. The generalized goals of love, power, wealth, 
prestige, and escape crowd into the daydreams which order a 
course of action and a sense of direction. Ambivalent response 
weakens achievement and creates inner conflicts of uncertainty. 
The person who attempts to become a dictator and a saint at the 
same time is apt to realize substantial disappointment. Yet the 
youth is common who sets forth toward Babylon and Jerusalem 



138 



at the same time, even though he is located between them. 

Kierkegaard offered the profound psychological insight that 
"To be pure in heart is to will one thing." Charles Morgan wrote 
Flashing Stream as an insight into singleness of purpose with an 
interesting comment on its priority for human living. He chose a 
disciplined research mathematician as his leading character. The 
motive of national survival in wartime intensified his purpose 
and stimulated feverish activity. Threats of economic catastrophe 
and loss of love could not dissuade him. He pursued his labors 
with no hope of reward or recognition, for a single inner purpose 
possessed him. Such notable characters in history as Jeremiah, 
Phidias, Augustus Caesar, and St. Francis of Assisi were ex- 
emplified by singleness of purpose. Abraham Lincoln groped his 
way through the lonely night in the White House to a compre- 
hensive and clear purpose — to save the Union. Jesus told his dis- 
ciples to "seek first the kingdom of God" — then set them the 
example which stands at the center of history as a stark but 
triumphant cross. 

INTEGRITY 

Carl Sandburg accurately describes the predicament of inevita- 
ble inner conflicts and contradictory interests in his poem "Wil- 
derness." 

There is a wolf in me . . . fangs pointed for tearing gashes 
... a red tongue for raw meat . . . and the hot lapping 
of blood — I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it 
to me and the wilderness will not let it go. 

There is a fox in me ... a silver-gray fox ... I sniff and 
guess ... I pick things out of the wind and air ... I nose 
in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide 
the feathers ... I circle and loop and double-cross. 

There is a hog in me ... a snout and a belly ... a ma- 
chinery for eating and grunting ... a machinery for 



139 



sleeping satisfied in the sun — I got this too from the wil- 
derness and the wilderness will not let it go. 

There is a fish in me ... I know I came from salt-blue 
water-gates ... I scurried with shoals of herring ... I 
blew waterspouts with porpoises . . . before land was . . . 
before the water went down . . . before Noah . . . before 
the first chapter of Genesis. 

There is a baboon in me . . . clambering-clawed . . . dog- 
faced . . . yawping a galoot's hunger . . . hairy under the 
armpits . . . here are the hawk-eyed hankering men . . . 
here are the blonde and blue-eyed women . . . here they 
hide curled asleep waiting . . . ready to snarl and kill . . . 
ready to sing and give milk . . . waiting — I keep the 
baboon because the wilderness says so. 

There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird . . . and the 
eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and 
fights among the Sierra crags of what I want . . . and the 
mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew 
is gone, warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas 
of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes 
— And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the 
wilderness. 

O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside inside my ribs, un- 
der my bony head, under my red-valve heart — and I got 
something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child 
heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from 
God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where — 
For I am the keeper of the zoo : I say yes and no : I sing 
and kill and work : I am a pal of the world : I came from 
the wilderness. 1 



^'Wilderness" from Cornhuskers by Carl Sandburg. Copyright 1918 by Holt, Rine- 
hart and Winston. Inc. Copyright 1946 by Carl Sandburg. Reprinted by permission of the 
publisher, Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 



140 



The clear recognition of the fact that each person is a crowd 
of differing persons brings the thoughtful pilgrim to the begin- 
ning of his journey toward the celestial city of integrity. With 
vision of his goal and knowledge of his obstreperous nature he 
can set forth in humility. The achievement of absolute integrity 
is a receding goal which nobody can attain. It is approachable 
but not to be possessed. The very nature of life precludes a com- 
plete unity of personality. 

Courage to accept oneself as a collection of personalities bound 
together with a name, a body, a personal history, a structure 
of habits, attitudes, and characteristics is an impressive begin- 
ning, but nothing more. Complacency at this point means a life- 
time of scattered muddling. Deliberate living requires discipline 
of mind and discipline of emotions to bring about some fair de- 
gree of personal unity. Of these two, one has a good opportunity 
for mental control. He must resolve to think truth about himself 
as nearly as he can in order that he can give some sensible pat- 
tern to his nature. To overestimate one's power and position 
brings on Promethean tragedy. To underrate oneself limits 
achievement and prevents self-realization. Anxiety tracks the 
footsteps of the person who cannot arrive at an approximation 
of his own personality resources. 

Four questions directed at oneself may prove useful in attempt- 
ing a reasonable formulation of procedure toward a worthy and 
integrated personality. 

1. What sort of person am I? 

2. What sort of person do I really wish to become? 

3. What can I do about it? 

4. What is the first step? 

The first question is as old as reflective thought. "Know thyself" 
was inscribed above the temple of Apollo at Delphi. Nobody 
can know himself fully, but anybody can improve his insight by 
courageously facing the issue. He can identify some of his domi- 
nant interests and clarify some of his purposes. He can uncover 
some of his conflicts and contradictions. He can trace a rou^h 



141 



profile of his tastes, his courage, his ability, his appearance, his 
position, and his tendencies. This rough profile can be somewhat 
refined by the many tests available, if interest in self-improvement 
is sufficient to warrant the effort required to visit a testing center. 
The tests themselves yield only approximations, but they are edu- 
cated approximations which provide some conception of what 
one has to work on. 

The second question is much more difficult to evaluate. The 
plural nature of the inner life brings on confusion and ambiva- 
lence. The man who yearns for a secure position and a happy 
home may, at the same time, dream of adventure in the jungles 
of Africa. The girl who longs for her own home and children 
may cherish a consuming desire for a career, unimpeded by fam- 
ily responsibilities. The person who escapes such obvious con- 
tradictions may shift interests as he goes along. When he has 
partially achieved his goal, he may lose interest in it to the extent 
that he regrets the effort and the investment of time which were 
necessary to bring it into range. One night Ty Cobb confessed 
to a friend that his major regret was his failure to enter medi- 
cine even though he had become number one in professional 
baseball. Personality management requires that a person search 
for the dominant and persistent goal in order that he can re- 
sourcefully struggle to keep his conflicting interests compromised 
and subordinated sufficiently to allow major attention to the 
achievement of his "pearl of great price." 

The third question involves a plan of action. When Albert 
Schweitzer hit upon the goal of redemptive service in Africa and 
a quest for deeper meaning in life, he set himself to the proce- 
dures necessary for success. His plan required the co-ordination 
of many factors such as funds, place, interest of other people, 
a medical education added to his philosophy and theology, the 
sacrifice of his previous careers in music and academics, the re- 
cruitment of a staff, permission from the responsible govern- 
ments, and many other arrangements. Once he had decided to 
invest his life in Africa as a one-man attempt at atonement for 



142 



the exploitation perpetrated by Europe on that continent, he 
began the plan of action which required a multitude of decisions, 
arrangements, and procedures. A dominant idea is inseparable 
from a plan of action. Until a person begins to organize his ac- 
tivities toward a projected goal, he merely daydreams in the 
midst of his several personalities. A creative and disciplined 
imagination can visualize the program, but step-by-step experi- 
mentation provides the only means to achievement. The goal is 
modified to fit the possibilities and the program is modified to 
achieve the goal. The process continues throughout a lifetime. 
Dr. Schweitzer is still in the midst of an African experiment, still 
struggling toward the goals dimly envisioned in his early man- 
hood. 

Once a person has committed himself to a plan of action he 
must give attention to priorities. The power of a compelling idea 
is released as the clarified goal and the visualized plan are en- 
couraged by the initial steps. Incentives grow as one undertakes 
the journey. It is heartening to see a disorganized college student 
bring his life into more ordered integrity as he discovers who he 
is and what he wishes to become. His random actions begin to 
show purpose; his grades improve; his interests deepen. Instead 
of impulse against impulse, he becomes an illustration of creative 
co-ordination of means and ends. Boundless enthusiasm for the 
next step overcomes the usual weariness and boredom derived 
from conflicts. Life has meaning for the person who knows where 
he is going and is already on his way with a plan in mind and 
a sense of achievement in his heart. The integrated personality is 
the heritage of a person who is going somewhere. 

Beyond the merely human quest for personal integrity there is 
the massive existential fact that each person is a child of God. 
The person who can accept the fact with his "whole heart, his 
whole soul, his whole strength, and his whole mind" by an all-out 
love of God has the ultimate ground for integrity in the gift of 
divine love. After a lifetime of struggle with inner conflicts and 
outer obstacles Rudyard Kipling was brought down with a major 
illness. As he lay on his hospital bed a kind attendant said, "Is 



143 



there anything you want?" Kipling answered, "I want my heav- 
enly Father." The final integrity of man depends on his filial 
devotion to God who is creater, sustainer, and redeemer. Eliza- 
beth Barrett Browning captured this insight with her words 

Oh, the little birds sang east, and the little birds sang west, 
And I smiled to think God's greatness flowed around our 

incompleteness, — 
Round our restlessness, his rest. 



144 



10 BLUNDERING 

INTO BLISS 



Tennyson may have been partially right when he said mar- 
riages are made in heaven, but they happen on earth. If we 
attribute to heaven the childhood experiences, the adolescent 
daydreams, the inner image of what a mate should be, and the 
circumstances that bring two people to the altar, then, truly, 
marriages are made in heaven. All of the factors mentioned 
above, however, are subject to management. They cannot be 
controlled, but they can be influenced. The very fact that young 
people spend an amazing amount of time and energy selecting 
a mate, or being selected, proves the point. Adults, unfortunately, 
spend a disproportionate amount of time and emotional energy 
reviewing their earlier decisions. The tragedy of a high divorce 
rate is matched by the greater tragedy of the emotional instability 
which it indicates. 

The script writers, composers, artists, playwrights, poets, novel- 
ists, and entertainers spend most of their effort on romantic love 
which finds its satisfaction in marriage. It has become trite to 
mention the fact that life really gets down to the business of hap- 
piness when the wedding is over; that marriage is the beginning 
rather than the end of romantic love. The learned pundits have 
rolled up their sleeves, sat down at their typewriters or reached 
for their pens, and have gone to work on the family. Some of 
them say the institution is "outmoded." Others deplore the 



145 



trends of our times. Useful proposals for improved functioning 
have enriched our family living as a result of scientific studies 
dealing with this crucial problem of our culture. To all these 
facts there is one conclusion: marriage and family living need 
improvement. Intelligence and good will devoted to that con- 
sideration will help the matter considerably. 

The same six-point basis for management of life in other areas 
provides the structure for diagnosis and prescription in the area 
of marriage. Inventory, analysis, vision, procedure, resources, 
and performance, as applied to our potential marital happiness, 
are the concerns of every person who hopes to examine his life 
and make it more effective. 

It is always a sort of shock when an information blank asks 
one's marital status. To answer "married," "single," "divorced," 
"widowed," or "living separately" does not answer the deeper 
human question. Fortunately the person who prepared the blank 
makes no such deeper demand. For one's own purpose, however, 
the question is important. The sense of infinite heartbreak, loneli- 
ness, and disappointment that sometimes goes into the little word 
"single" could be the theme for a mighty tragic drama. The word 
"married" may be a symbol of either untold bliss or pain that 
is well-nigh unbearable. "Divorced" could signify release from 
some intolerable situation, but it more often means failure, regret, 
and complicated misery. The person who writes "widowed" tells 
the story of separation and the valley of shadows with the long 
slow trail that leads out to the plains of peace for those who have 
sturdy feet, a stout heart, and the help of God. "Living sepa- 
rately" is also a confession of failure. What one writes on an in- 
formation sheet is a heart throb as well as an objective answer. 

Before a person can truly take stock of his success in marriage, 
he must have the function of marriage and the family rather 
clearly in mind. There can be no measurement without a meas- 
uring rod of purpose. Marriage is increasingly a question of 
companionship. The economic function of agrarian days has 
largely disappeared. In some respects today there is little or no 
economic advantage. Some wit has improvised on the old maxim, 



146 



"Two can live as cheaply as one" by adding "Two men can 
live as cheaply as one woman." The family, however, is the ideal 
place for rearing children. It is not only the ideal biological con- 
text, but it also provides the best atmosphere for personality 
development. The home is still the world's most influential edu- 
cational institution in spite of repeated efforts to consign the 
responsibility to the schools and churches. A happy home is an 
island of security in a precarious world. The conditions for 
integrated personalities are more nearly perfect in a happy fam- 
ily than anywhere else. The sense of "we-ness" which holds the 
world together operates as a sort of nucleation when a marriage 
is happy, and little children can grow up in a climate of love. 
The question before the manager of his life is, "How success- 
fully am I realizing these purposes?" 

The selection of a life partner is important business. Only 
the naive or the deluded believe it to be a simple intellectual 
process. It has emotional overtones that are deep beneath our 
conscious control. The selection involves one of the most power- 
ful and consuming drives in human nature — the sex impulse. 
The mystery of romance surrounds the courtship prelude. Social 
traditions and customs which lie deep in the history of a culture 
bear on the way in which people plight their troth. By the very 
nature of the case, the participants in the drama have no ex- 
perience. Marriage is the glorious adventure. 

The question most frequently asked by thousands of college 
students in a recent survey was, "How am I doing?" With re- 
spect to marriage this raises the question that tells one just how 
much potential marital success he has to manage. The qualities 
that make persons attractive to one another have been studied 
by many psychologists. Professor Ernest Ligon asked a large 
number of students to list the qualities in their best friends 
which were most appealing. The four which occurred most fre- 
quently in the answers were intelligence, physical attractiveness, 
temperament, and character. Interestingly enough, "Physical at- 
tractiveness was mentioned least frequently of the four. For each 
mention of physical attractiveness, intelligence occurred twice, 



147 



temperament five times, and character eight times." 1 This would 
confirm the proposition that management is possible, inasmuch 
as character and temperament can definitely be modified by 
conscious effort. 

The quality and amount of character, temperament, intel- 
ligence, and physical attractiveness constitute a portion of the 
capital which one has to invest in marriage. But the use which 
one makes of what he has is vastly more significant than the 
amount. Character is a cluster word that includes many of the 
traits involved in the conduct of life. The stability of the home 
depends on it. Similarly the dependability of a husband or wife, 
and the integrity of personality are all indicated by this com- 
pound term. Moral rectitude and a sense of honor are both writ- 
ten here. Altruism and self-realization are aspects of this quality. 
Temperament includes such general considerations as cheerful- 
ness, optimism, self-control, expression of affection, and similar 
personality patterns. Intelligence, while largely hereditary, is 
subject to deliberate management since even a very little capital 
can produce startling results. Practically everyone has enough 
intelligence to change the world for the better if he only had 
the ability to use his intelligence well. 

One still has this capital to manage when the life investment 
has already been made at the altar. The success of the venture 
depends, in part, upon the continuous supervision of the quali- 
ties which make one a worthy partner. The person who never 
marries still has this potential to use for human betterment in 
a myriad other ways. Friendship, family loyalties, love, and de- 
votion to worthy causes are compensatory uses. Some of the 
greatest human benefactors are those whose love, which might 
have been lavished on a family, has been invested in some wider 
enterprise of teaching, healing, preaching, or otherwise serving 
mankind. Those who have enjoyed the bliss of a happy home, 
but know the pain of separation, still have the high responsibilty 
of management for the good of the world, their neighbors, and 
their own happiness. 

'Ligon, op. cit., p. 101. 



148 



When the vows are spoken and the family is already a going 
concern, there is need for still more self-inventory. One must 
question himself concerning his competence as a homemaker. 
It is much easier to blame a husband or a wife than it is to re- 
view one's own performance in the partnership. A self-rating 
scale would ask, "How effective am I as a companion?" Since 
the deep love yearning of the human soul is involved in the an- 
swer, there is no consideration more vital. The giving and re- 
ceiving of affection, together with the whole-souled sharing of 
experience, are the values most precious not only in marriage 
but in the world. 

A second question, "How good am I as a household mana- 
ger?" is partly economic in nature. The ability to organize food, 
furniture, house, time, and budget in such a way as to promote 
family happiness and welfare is a rare gift. Home economics, 
broadly defined, is one of the essential studies of man. Husbands 
are just as deeply involved in this matter as are their wives, even 
though there is some difference in their respective roles. The 
ability to earn, save, budget, and plan is basic. It takes a highly 
versatile nature to make the most of the complicated business 
of homemaking. 

Question number three, "How can I rate myself as a parent?" 
may be embarrassing. The responsibility of life entrusted to one's 
supervision is appalling in magnitude. The parent who can love 
without coddling, nurture without domination, guide without 
coercing, develop without forcing, inspire, encourage, and set a 
good example is rare. Yet everyone who has a child must face up 
to this tremendous demand. 

The homemaker is also the public relations officer for the fam- 
ily. The gossipy mother makes life unpleasant for the family as 
well as for herself. The father who misbehaves casts an unfor- 
tunate reflection on the ones closest to him. The strength of the 
family is mutuality. The person who has the abilities to serve 
both as a team member and as an individual has the greatest 
contribution to make to the home. The social influence of a suc- 
cessful marriage and a happy family prompted the good Lord to 



149 



teach us to think of ourselves and conduct our lives as the great 
family of one heavenly Father. 



ANALYSIS 

Analysis of one's marital situation involves an overview of 
the problems that need solution rather than an attempt to under- 
stand marriage by looking at it one fragment at a time. Certain 
recurrent problems seem to be more or less characteristic of all 
marital difficulties. The success or failure of marriage depends 
on the ability of the partners to solve these problems. 

By all odds, emotional maladjustment is the number one prob- 
lem. Egocentricity on the part of husband, wife, or both is the 
most common cause for unhappiness and divorce. The effort of 
one mate to regard the other as an instrument for personal satis- 
faction is inimical to happiness. Strangely enough the egocentric 
invariably blames the mate. Marriage is the most complete mu- 
tuality known for two personalities. The Scripture says, "The 
two shall become one." Such complete integration of divergent 
personality is impossible when either person fails to transcend his 
own ego. Unhappiness results for both since the egocentric can- 
not be happy unless the mate fits a preconceived pattern of ex- 
pectation. The mate is unhappy because there is no free inter- 
action of personalities. Persons can live together all their lives 
without a genuine marriage of mind, soul, and body. One old 
Scandinavian lumberman of the Northwest lost his wife after 
forty-eight years of marriage. The next day he was back at work 
whistling merrily. A fellow laborer asked how he could whistle 
when he had been bereft so recently. "I never did like her," was 
the answer. 

The second most common difficulty is money. When asked if 
the grounds for their disagreement was "incompatibility" a young 
wife replied, "Just the first two syllables." The habits of handling 
money are important to wedded bliss. The girl whose family re- 
garded money on a communal basis finds her husband, whose 



150 



background has disposed him to strict budgeting and allowances, 
an objectionable penny pincher. The problem is by no means 
confined to the poor. Wives of rich men are often required to 
wheedle money enough to pay the servants, and husbands of 
rich wives are sometimes reduced to the economic status of an 
employee. The horror of the first of the month, with its flood of 
bills, is the nemesis of the young couple attempting to make a 
home. 

Sexual maladjustment, with its ramifications of infidelity and 
jealousy, is the third most frequent trouble area. There are few 
problems of sexual maladjustment on the purely physical level 
which cannot be cured by competent medical advice. The subtler 
psychological difficulties do not yield easily to treatment. The 
person who allows jealousy to destroy the joy of complete aban- 
don to intimacy with a mate is on the matrimonial shoals. Un- 
faithfulness in a mate may or may not be grounds for divorce. 
Hosea believed that a loving heart could follow a dear one in a 
yearning effort to redeem. The couple which does not keep in- 
violate those marriage vows which say, "Will you cleave to her, 
and to her only, as long as you both shall live?" is bound for 
heartbreak and sorrow. Extramarital love affairs are the enemy 
of the home, the thieves of mental peace, and the ruin of suc- 
cessful careers. The best time to stop them is before they begin. 
If they have already started, they must stop right now. 

The fourth conflict area pertains to children. Often one of the 
pair wants them and the other does not. They differ in methods 
of rearing the young. One parent tries to get an alliance with 
the children as a weapon against the mate. Or the added respon- 
sibility of children may take the joy away from former pursuits, 
and the result is blame placed on one another. One parent shows 
great favoritism to one of the children to the resentment of the 
other parent. The little child who could bring the greatest gift 
of peace to the home becomes a source of strife. Self-examination 
on the part of a parent to discover unwholesome attitudes with 
reference to children may greatly enrich the home. 



151 



The hackneyed mother-in-law jokes have some basis in fact. 
An important aspect of happy marriage is the adjustment of 
"your family" and "my family" differences. Courageous deter- 
mination for the couple to live their own lives as a new family, 
but with no resentment or invidious comparisons against the 
family of one's mate, can scarcely be overemphasized. No wise 
man will ever spend his time speaking disparagingly of his wife's 
family. A wife must abide by the same rule. Meddling parents 
may be a problem which requires action, but "for better or for 
worse" means accepting them the way they are and adjusting as 
creatively as possible to the actual situation. 

In human nature there are contradictory emotions of love and 
hatred. Couples who do not recognize this conflict may be misled 
into unnecessary guilt feelings or needless aggressions against the 
mate. Every person develops some resentment against a wife or 
husband along with the overpowering love. When this blazes 
forth in bursts of anger, words are spoken which may relieve the 
speaker, but sometimes deeply wound the feelings of one's life 
partner. The good manager will find other ways of working off 
tensions than by storming around the house. A good argument 
may clear the air but denunciation deepens resentment and leads 
to tragedy. The smoldering hatred that burns inside may be even 
more damaging to a happy home. 

Religion, which places the rainbow of divinity above the mar- 
riage of God's children, sometimes becomes the cause of bitter 
conflict. Difference in religious sectarian loyalties need not de- 
stroy a happy marriage. The only fair basis for happiness, how- 
ever, is a mutual respect for the religious beliefs and practices of 
one another. It is unfortunate that a few religious bodies make 
unreasonable demand on their members by requiring the parent 
to pledge in advance the sectarian loyalty of an unborn child. 
This is a requirement which violates fair play with reference to 
other religious bodies, and asks a parent to give away something 
that belongs only to the child and God. Forbearance and cre- 
ative integration, however, can overcome even this obstacle. 



152 



VISION AND PURPOSE 

There is no more beautiful and significant achievement than a 
happy home. Couples who walk down the way of life in blessed 
communion share something far more deeply interfused than can 
appear in any other earthly fellowship. They come to be literally 
one flesh. When true love ordains, the remark that hurts a man's 
wife hurts him even more deeply than if it were directed against 
his own person. The wife finds more joy in that accomplishment 
or honor which comes to her husband than if it had come to her. 
Earth knows no greater bliss than the happy marriage of two 
persons. Joys are heightened because "two hearts that beat as 
one" are quickened. Bright landscapes are lovelier when four 
eyes share in appreciation. The security of blended love is the 
most soul-satisfying of human experience. No wonder Sara Teas- 
dale wrote: 

If I can bear your love like a lamp before me 

When I go down the long, long road of darkness, 

I shall not fear the everlasting shadow, or cry in terror. 

If I can find God, then I shall find him; 

If none can find him, then I shall sleep soundly 

Knowing how well on earth your love sufficed me — 

A light in darkness. 2 

For several years it has been the custom in a Detroit church 
to conclude the Festival of the Christian Home with a golden 
wedding. A couple married for fifty years is selected from the 
membership to repeat the wedding vows. The wedding attend- 
ants are children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other 
golden wedding couples. Young people cherish the service be- 
cause of the inspiration that comes from many golden-wedding 
couples from various faiths and backgrounds who march down 
the aisle side by side. 

2 "The Lamp" from Love Song! by Sara Teasdale, copyright 1917 by The Macmillan 
Company and renewed 1945 by Mamie T. Wheless. Used by permission of the publishers. 



153 



Marriage can succeed gloriously. The tendency to emphasize 
failure has given a defeatist attitude to many persons who could 
serve happiness and civilization by making the hearthside an 
altar, the table a sacrament, and the marriage a demonstration 
of blended meaning. This is not platitudinous moralizing. It is 
an invitation to every person to catch the vision of what life 
could be when managed. Martin Luther said: "God has set the 
type of marriage everywhere throughout the creation. — Each 
creature seeks its perfection in another. — The very heavens and 
earth picture it to us." 

PROGRAM 

A seven-point program for a happy and successful marriage 
includes commitment, sharing, growth, celebration, enrichment, 
appreciation, and submission. This program is no panacea or 
bag of tricks. It is a practical approach to wedded bliss available 
to every husband and wife who will make an honest effort at 
achievement in the business of marriage management. There are 
no substitutes for good will, common sense, loyalty, and love. 
This program is designed to give these springs of action channels 
of expression. 

Marriage is life commitment. To embark on the sea of matri- 
mony means a complete venture. The wedding vow reads, "as 
long as you both shall live." The parson who changed it to read, 
"as long as you both shall love" took a shallow and unworthy 
view of life's greatest voyage. It is a great error to jump over- 
board at the first squall. Marriage is more than a contract that 
can be dissolved at will. It is a life partnership into which a per- 
son enters with complete abandon and with no reservation. 
"What God has joined together let not man put asunder." The 
person who wants a divorce because there is no longer the ro- 
mantic ecstasy of the honeymoon has a false conception of mar- 
riage. The committed life finds a way to a deeper and more abid- 
ing kind of love. 

The second point is sharing but the sharing should not be on 
a fifty-fifty basis. The sure way to ruin a marriage is to go half- 



154 



way and no more. The man who is worthy of a good wife will 
go all the way occasionally in an effort to correct a misunder- 
standing. He will not only admit his wife is right, but he will con- 
fess that he is wrong. The wife who does not go all out to humor 
her husband, who, on occasion, needs to be treated with parental 
love that forgives all and seeks the best, can never know the 
height of bliss. Hard bargains do not belong in marriage. For 
marriage to succeed each must go about eighty per cent of the 
way. This will add up to one hundred sixty per cent, which is 
right for a successful home. 

The third point of procedure is growth. Both parties must 
grow emotionally and spiritually in wedlock. This is the only way 
that lives can be identified. Marriage does not take place all at 
once. It is a process of development which may require many 
years. About five to ten years of married love and mutual shar- 
ing is a minimum for two lives to intertwine adequately in such 
a way that the hurt of one is the hurt of both and the help of 
one is the help of both. 

Cultivation is essential to growth. This means the weeds must 
be kept down and the soil maintained in good condition; there 
can be no undue jealousy and no extra affairs with other men 
and women if the conditions are to be optimum. Money quar- 
rels are quite forbidden. There may be agreement, adjustment, 
patience, and courage to win the erring mate to the point of view 
that is objectively right, but squabbling about money retards the 
growth of an organic union. Irritations must be kept at a mini- 
mum. If buttons off the favorite shirt is the minor complaint, 
the wise wife will sew them on. If reading the morning paper at 
breakfast annoys his wife, the wise husband will forego the luxury 
until some more opportune time. Tongues must be guarded. 
Words must not be uttered that will wound so deeply that tears 
of regret can never mollify the hurt. Responsibility for the chil- 
dren must be shared. It is not fair for the mother to do all the 
counseling and correcting, and the father to have all the fun with 
the children. Neither is it fair to save up all correction and turn 
it over to the father when he comes home from work. One parent 



155 



should never speak ill of the other to the children. Nor should 
there be any competition for the child's affection. Boredom must 
be at all costs avoided. The sure way to destroy the growth of 
mutual love is to lose the cheerful zest and the divine surprise 
that finds interest in everything and delight in each other's pres- 
ence. The wife who only scolds when her husband brings her a 
gift of love deserves to find marriage dull. If the conditions are 
kept favorable, God will grant the gift of true marriage. 

Celebration is the fourth point to note. Anniversaries are oc- 
casions and should be celebrated. The rituals of marriage are 
more vital than even women realize. The gift at Christmas or on 
a birthday should be both sensible and sentimental. Lavish love 
is vastly more important than the lavish gift. The one who selects 
and gives the gift deepens his ardor by the ritual of getting and 
giving. It is literally true that to give is better than to receive. 
Little surprises deepen the affection of both the one who plans 
and the one who is surprised. Meals must become a sacrament 
of love, the hearthside an altar, and the parents who preside in 
their respective function must be the priests of God. Vacations 
are memorable in that they provide freedom from other respon- 
sibilities and encourage attention to one another. The happy 
couple knows how to run away together when occasion affords. 
They fall in love all over again. Growth is both renewal and 
advance. It is change with purpose, meaning, and a worthy end. 

Point five is enrichment. There are tender experiences, dear 
words, amusing incidents, precious achievements, and symbolic 
objects that cluster around the deep rich significance of that 
word called "home." An example of such endearment came 
from the author's son when he was eight years old. At breakfast 
one Sunday morning, when I was preaching at our church, the 
sermon weighed heavily on my mind. I was somewhat preoc- 
cupied. Glen said, "Daddy, what are you thinking about?" I 
told him I was pondering my sermon. "I always say a prayer," 
he said, "when you get up to preach." I was deeply touched by 
the devotion and interest of my little lad. I was so self-concerned 
that tears came into my eyes and kept me from noticing the 



156 



mischievous twinkle in his. I said, "Bless your dear heart, what 
do you say?" He answered, "Now I lay me down to sleep." Now 
that he is a young physician, this vignette of joy is an apple of 
gold in the silver vessel of memory. 

Appreciation and gratitude hold the sixth place in the happy 
marriage program. An old Vermont farmer once said, "My wife 
has been so good and fine all these years that there are times 
when I can scarcely keep from telling her about it." If he had 
not so obviously appreciated his wife, his reserve would have 
made him deserve to lose her. The wife who thinks her husband 
is the finest man in the world, and lets him know she feels that 
way, promotes the growth of happiness. Gratitude is one of the 
noblest human emotions. 

Submission of important differences to some competent and 
impartial third party is the final point. When two persons reach 
an impasse, the only solution is a righteous and wise counselor. 
Those who recognize the loving care of their heavenly Father 
have only to look to him for help at any time. God knows the 
nature of petty human quarrels. He knows how completely peo- 
ple are misunderstood. He never reveals the secrets shared with 
him to entertain his wife, illustrate his lectures, or enrich his new 
book. He will always listen. His voice is "still and small" but in- 
sistent. 

There are times, however, when even God needs the help of 
some good counselor, psychiatrist, pastor, or friend to help him 
resolve human conflicts. Angelo Patri has an interesting clinic 
in which he requires couples who differ to act out their disputes 
on a little stage. Later they are required to see the same quarrel 
reproduced by other actors. The results are very rewarding. The 
person who gets an objective view of his difference usually finds 
a way to resolve the conflict. When couples consult him, one 
counselor makes it a practice to talk first to one, then to the 
other, and then to both parties. Many deep animosities can be 
eradicated when the couple will face the true nature of their con- 
flict in terms of a problem to solve rather than an opportunity 



157 



to blame one another. Humility, patience, kindness, and a wor- 
shipful attitude will aid in the solution of almost any human 
problem. 

RESOURCES 

There are many resources available for those who would man- 
age life in such a way as to make their marriage completely suc- 
cessful, and enable them to say of their wedding, "That day I 
blundered into bliss." The most unfailing resource is the basic 
dependability of human beings. There is a sort of orderliness 
about every human life. Some persons can be trusted to arrive 
on time, others to arrive late. Some are forever tidy, others un- 
tidy, but there is pattern in the behavior of either. The charac- 
teristic behavior of one's wedded companion enables a person 
to know fairly well what to expect, and therefore aids in adjust- 
ment to difficulty. Experience in dealing with problems which 
inevitably arise gives skill in solution. 

There is forever the resource of loyal love which can overcome 
the most insurmountable obstacles. "Love will find a way" is 
more than a maxim. In making a happy home, a loving heart is 
worth a whole library full of guidebooks. Intelligence is a great 
aid when directed to the issues of life. The mind that inquires 
not only gains information but develops new sources of interest 
and can therefore make a great contribution to the sum total 
of family happiness. 

One's family background can be a great help. Persons who 
come from broken homes have a poorer record of success in mar- 
riage than those whose parents lived together successfully. Out 
of the wisdom gained in childhood come aids to solve the prob- 
lems of maturity. One can learn from the behavior and attitudes 
of other couples what he misses in his parents. The attitudes that 
enhance the joy of other homes are worthy of emulation. 

The greatest help, however, in marriage as in anything else, 
comes from God. The little child who put a small cardboard sign 
on the door of his home, "God lives in this house," had the right 
idea. The old Hebrews were required to write upon the door 



158 



posts of their houses, "The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy 
soul, and with all thy might." The church makes the great re- 
source of God's unfailing love available for the enrichment of 
every home that enters into its world community of love and 
good will. It is a family of families. It surrounds little children 
with a sense of God's presence, and teaches the great truths of 
the Bible. Church families much less frequently run aground on 
the rocks of divorce. The ship that is piloted by the Lord can 



weather the gales. 



POWER 



To be happily single or happily married one must free himself 
from egocentricity. But everyone is egocentric in more or less 
degree; and cannot change. Only God can change his children, 
and even he cannot transform their attitudes unless they yield to 
him. The noble impulse can gain command in their lives only 
when the selfish impulse of pretense is overpowered. A life that 
matters begins within when Christ has entered. 

The heroic record of achievement everywhere is truly inspir- 
ing. Here is a girl who has never married. Life is half over for 
her, giving no opportunity to express her inner maternal love 
toward her own children, or her conjugal love toward a husband. 
The self-centered impulse to self-pity has been overpowered. The 
love that would have made some man very happy has found sub- 
limated expression in the care she lavishes on her aged parents. 
Her maternal instincts have blessed the children she teaches, 
without smothering them. She has traveled all over the world 
by frugality and daring. Her life is abundant in spite of unful- 
filled longings. Her life, too, has its sunset touch, but she has that 
in common with all mankind. 

The men and women in and out of wedlock who have man- 
aged life in such a way that God has helped them modify the 
powerful ego drives for love, power, and prestige are an inspir- 
ing company. Homes that were about to disintegrate have found 
new joys of fellowship when the members begin from within to 



159 



face God and one another. The most insuperable barriers fall 
before the might of gentle humility. The most hazardous journey 
is accomplished when the smile of God is in the overarching sky. 
The importance of a climate of worshipful concern requires even 
greater emphasis. Nobody can have his own way in marriage. 
The wise old teacher knew human nature when he observed that 
the objection to the word "obey" in the wedding ceremony had 
no final meaning. To prove his contention he cited the strict 
obedience of his own wife who had shared with him half a cen- 
tury of bliss. 

I sometimes hear a woman say 

One vow she firmly chose to ban; 
She would not promise to obey, 

And be a slave to any man. 

Her wisdom I may not decry; 

Her forethought I can understand; 
Yet how can true love dare deny 

A glad accord to love's command? 

Wise women yield to wiser men. 

I think that this is often true. 
Wise men, in turn, use wisdom when 

They tell the women what to do. 

To bid few things is best, I find ; 

Or else the woman might forget; 
For two or three things crowd her mind. 

She scorns high numbers with a fret. 

I rule my loving wife with ease. 

I say, (and add some words of praise), 
"Now, darling, do just as you please;" 

And this she never disobeys. 3 



"Clinton Lockhart, "She Obeys," Apples of Gold (1938: Dallas-New York, The 
Cordova Press, Inc.), p. 99. 



160 



The wife must say the same thing, however, and both must 
modify their inclinations in an attitude of sincere search for what 
is best. 

Just when a person despairs of ever finding a way "to live hap- 
pily ever after," the children come running in with laughter and 
bright radiance. The despair is forgotten. Just when dark days 
seem to blot out all the sunlight, the wife or husband shares some 
deeper aspect of personality and the amity is restored. Just when 
the way seems impossible to endure, one comes upon the most 
glorious landscape of ineffable beauty. The common tasks take 
on new meaning. Love takes command. 

There are strange ways of serving God; 
You sweep a room or turn a sod, 
And suddenly, to your surprise, 
You hear the whirr of seraphim, 
And find you're under God's own eyes 
And building palaces for Him. 4 

— Herman Hagedorn 



'From "Service." Used by permission of the author. 



161 



11 LAUGHTER AND THE 
LOVE OF FRIENDS 



From quiet homes and first beginning, 

Out to the undiscovered ends, 
There's nothing worth the wear of winning 

But laughter and the love of friends. 1 

— Hilaire Belloc 

"This I command you, to love one another." 

— John 15:17 

The deep yearning for a shoulder on the right and a shoulder 
on the left is forever with us. There is meaning in solitude only 
as it serves as a foil for the greater joy of fellowship. Man is by 
nature gregarious. He is happy only when he loves and is loved. 
Money, health, time, and fame are empty without companion- 
ship to enhance the pleasure and to share the grief. 

He who has a thousand friends 

Has not a friend to spare, 
While he who has one enemy 
Shall meet him everywhere. 

— Ali Ben Abu Tabeh, a.d. 660, tr. by 
Ralph Waldo Emerson 



1 From "Dedicatory Ode." 



162 



There are no peals of laughter when one is alone. The over- 
flow of ecstasy that finds expression in the biologic luxury known 
as laughter arises largely in a context of friendly association. It 
springs spontaneously out of human interaction. It cannot be 
compelled. The context, as well as the humorous incident or re- 
mark, is essential to lighthearted living. Friendship is the pre- 
requisite to laughter. Since happiness, meaning, security, and 
excellence of conduct are dependent upon friendship, it is a mat- 
ter of prime importance to look to the conditions that make 
friendship possible. 

Not only for personal reasons, but also for social well-being, 
the growth of friendship is important. In this day of crowds and 
overpopulation it is pertinent to ask, "How can we learn to live 
together?" The strife in industry and politics, homes, and neigh- 
borhoods, nations and races all stems from the inability to live 
as friends. The end of war will come not with an army or a 
treaty, but by the mutual friendship of nation with nation, man 
with man. The clash of interest in business or labor can be re- 
solved only when the psychological factors of ego and status 
drives are taken into consideration. There is more to a strike than 
increased wages or larger profits. There are the clash of person- 
alities and the strife of group attitudes. War involves vastly more 
than economics, politics, and disputes. After one has explored 
the geographical, economic, and political causes for war, he still 
meets the stubborn fact that nobody wants wars, yet everybody 
has them. The rising divorce rate over the last few decades gives 
testimony to the need for a more successful method of resolving 
human conflict in the family. The world needs more friends and 
fewer enemies. Grenfell spoke with insight when he said, "The 
only way to get rid of your enemies is to make them into your 
friends." 

The problem of managing one's life in such a way as to enjoy 
the blessing of friendship and the pursuit of happiness while pro- 
moting the general welfare by altruistic service is much more sub- 
tle than the management of time, health, or money. There is the 
paradox which shows the avid quest for happiness to be a sure 



163 



way to lose it. A fairly good way to lose friends is to try too hard 
to make friends. Inventory of capacity and opportunity for 
friendship is hard to determine since these are subtle qualities too 
precious for our crude measuring instruments. One cannot rea- 
sonably talk of a quart of friendliness or a pound of love. Even 
to number one's friends is a doubtful business because the deeper 
meanings do not reveal themselves when one counts noses. 

Nevertheless, there is an entity called capacity for friendship 
which is sufficiently quantitative and subject to conscious influ- 
ence to justify an estimate of its amount and extent. Intelligence 
and physical attractiveness, which are important ingredients in 
this capacity, are largely the gifts of life which must be used to 
the best advantage. They are not as easily changed as other quali- 
ties such as character, personality, and cheerfulness. The late Will 
Rogers had a host of friends in every land and promoted friend- 
ship throughout the world largely on account of his unusual 
friendly attitude. "I never met a man I didn't like" was a char- 
acteristic statement of the humorist and philosopher. Almost 
everyone has the aptitudes for cheerfulness and friendly interest 
in the needs of his companions. Physical attractiveness and intel- 
ligence, while very valuable, are not the sine qua non for popu- 
larity. They are qualities to be counted along with many others 
which are vastly easier to develop and modify. 

The most fundamental ingredient in friendship is an other- 
regarding point of view. This is the meaning of the golden rule, 
"Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them." 
The sympathetic imagination that enables one person to feel an- 
other's pain in his own heart or another's joy at his personal de- 
light is the basis for all true human understanding. This is an at- 
titude which can be developed. Magnificent transformation in 
personality can be traced to the growth of sensitivity to the needs, 
desires, feelings, and aspirations of other people. Such sensitivity 
is the nerve structure for the growth of an organic community 
in which "we are all members one of another." 

The person whose childhood supplied him with enough com- 
passion and altruism to respond naturally in terms of friendly 



164 



concern is fortunate. One is never too old to learn, however, the 
pity, concern, and identification with another's need that will en- 
able him to be a friend of man. Dickens made Scrooge the classic 
example of an old man whose egoism became genuine human 
love for Tiny Tim and for all mankind. God is perpetually 
changing people from selfishness into altruism by the experiences 
which they must inevitably encounter. The ability to become 
other-regarding is part of one's inventory for management of life 
to make it friendly. 

Emerson gave sound advice when he said, "make yourself 
necessary to someone." Dependability and temperament are 
among the qualities most desirable in a friend. The number and 
diversity of interests enrich personality. The person who has 
something to give in friendship is more blessed than if he merely 
takes. Only he who is worthy of it deserves friendship. 

Thackeray lived a lonely life in spite of his great popularity 
and notable success. His advice to mankind was, "We are most 
of us very lonely in this world ; you who have any who love you, 
cling to them and thank God." It is a heartening experience to 
discover how many friends one has when some occasion elicits 
their concern and interest. Let tragedy come or grief descend 
and the sustaining help of friends is truly blessed. Christmas time, 
with its sacrament of greeting cards bearing dear names, enables 
one to know how many people care. It is a searching bit of self- 
examination for one to ask, "How many people are there whom 
I love and who love me?" 

Pertinent to the present state of one's success in human rela- 
tions is the age and place in which one lives. Robinson Crusoe 
could have no friends except his man Friday and the mental 
images of former associates. The exact opposite of his problem is 
the one that scourges most people. There are so many people all 
around in the crowded cities that individuals are bewildered and 
overwhelmed by the numbers. Urban life is impersonal and 
lonely. The desolate wasteland of a great crowd is about the most 
lonely place in all the world. It is well for one to recognize the 
stubborn fact that friendship is difficult in this era of high mobility 



165 



and urbanization. The attitude of love must be cultivated more 
assiduously than in times when leisure and paucity of companions 
knit groups into fellowship. One of the most dramatic examples 
of human concern in the present time is the case of Albert 
Schweitzer, who identified himself with the needs of the people 
of Africa so completely that he abandoned three brilliant careers 
to build his hospital on the edge of the primeval forest. His is 
the distant counterpart of the compassion of the Lord who said, 
" 'As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did 
it to me.' " 

Each person is motivated by a desire to give and receive friend- 
ship in greater or lesser degree. Each one has some friends; a few 
are able to identify themselves with all mankind in friendly rela- 
tion. Everyone also has some sense of loneliness. This, too, varies 
with the individual. The great leader who has many people de- 
pending on his guidance may be poignantly lonely. In fact, lead- 
ership implies a certain degree of loneliness. Persons in obscure 
positions, on the other hand, may be desolate for another reason, 
for they may not have opportunity to meet and enjoy congenial 
friends. This feeling of outreach for friendship is capable of man- 
agement. It can lead to the greatest joys or sorrows in life. The 
problem is to make this tendency serve human happiness for one's 
friends as well as for oneself. 

The growth of a true community is defeated when people fall 
into little cliques that provide only a relief from boredom and 
some satisfaction of the gregarious drive without leading its mem- 
bers on out into the adventure of wide human relations. The 
small group which develops an organic sense of fellowship such 
as Jesus and the disciples enjoyed may save the souls of the peo- 
ple involved and bring amazing social redemption. The small 
group which develops a protective set of interests, habits, and at- 
titudes for the benefit of internal ego concerns and to protect its 
members from wider responsibilities is a cancer on society and 
an eventual curse to those persons who enter the clique. The 
arrogance and selfishness of such exclusive human clusters is 
voiced by the familiar jingle: 



166 



We are the select few, 
Let all the rest be damned; 
There's room enough in Hell for you, 
We'll not have Heaven crammed. 

Social organization along the lines of self-centered groups is 
the prostitution of the noble inclination of human beings to ex- 
tend their community. It makes friendship serve group advantage 
instead of human welfare, and represents collective egoism rather 
than true altruism. It appears in the gang and occasionally in 
the club. In the large it becomes ethnocentricism. In religion it 
is bigotry and narrow sectarianism; in the sorority, fraternity, 
bridge club or other social group it is snobbishness. It is forever 
despicable. The role of Christian friendship is to extend com- 
munity. Face-to-face fellowship groups, so fundamental to per- 
sonal and social well-being, are beneficial only when they enrich 
the lives of their members and at the same time widen the hori- 
zons of their concerns. The primary group is a cell in the social 
organism. It must not become a wart. 

Egocentricity is the greatest obstacle to friendship. It is the 
cause of broken homes and endless conflict at other social levels. 
Wars are precipitated by the self-centered pride and ego involve- 
ments of national leaders. In the midst of the tragic War Be- 
tween the States, when it had become apparent that all the 
bloody waste of life and wealth could result in nothing but bitter 
loss for both sides, there came the humorous, startling, and wise 
remark of one of Lincoln's contemporaries: "Only two things 
keep the war from ending now: the landing of the Pilgrims and 
original sin." He was aware of human egocentricity. The late 
Will Rogers spoke to the same point when he answered the ques- 
tion, "What is the matter with the world?" with the canny ob- 
servation, "Mostly just folks." 

An exaggerated case of egocentricity makes friendship utterly 
impossible. An egocentric person may go through the rituals of 
pretense to friendship, but he sees other people merely in terms 
of his own advantage. He loves his neighbor, not because of his 



167 



neighbor, but because he is trying to get love for himself. The 
people with whom he becomes acquainted are those who will 
help his business or advance his social standing. He carefully 
studies how he can win friends and influence people in order that 
he can advance himself. The prevalence of such an attitude is 
matched only by its tragic implications. Egocentric parents and 
friends unconsciously engender like attitudes in children until this 
social malady of bitterness, loneliness, and endless conflict infects 
vast numbers of us to the point of danger and all of us in some 
degree. Kant inveighed against the blight of egocentricity by his 
maxim, "So act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own per- 
son or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never 
as a means only." 

The greatest difficulty of the egocentric is that he usually thinks 
of himself as being generous and altruistic. Pigs do not think of 
themselves as greedy. It seems natural enough for one who re- 
gards only himself to consider the whole world a pool to reflect 
his beauty. Only with some overpowering experience, enriched 
by the guidance of a wise counselor, can one get outside himself. 
It is well for everyone to recognize the egoistic bias of each hu- 
man being, and to confess his own. Then by God's grace he may 
be able to enter into sincere companionship, which is possible 
only when man learns to love a person for that person's own dear 
sake and not for his own advantage. 

Only God can make a friendship. Man can provide the con- 
ditions, but the growth of common concerns and feelings with 
mutual understanding and affection is the gracious gift of God. 
A person can try his best to win a friend only to have the object 
of his affection respond: 

I do not love thee, Doctor Fell; 
The reason why I cannot tell ; 
But this alone I know full well, 
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell. 

— Thomas Brown 



168 



Paul was fully cognizant of this fact when he advised each 
Christian at Rome, "So far as it depends upon you, live peace- 
ably with all." It is not possible to compel affection. Rather it 
must be nurtured patiently and cherished with a gardener's eye. 

HOW FRIENDSHIP DEVELOPS 

It is quite possible, however, for a thoughtful person to observe 
the laws of growth by which heart knits with heart and minds 
become kindred. The first principle is that persons must com- 
municate with one another if they are to become friends, sweet- 
hearts, or companions. As a matter of fact, there are few genuine 
friendships that develop without people being together in some 
situation that relates them in some sort of common interest. Male 
and female pigeons that otherwise might ignore one another, 
when placed side by side in separate cages, will begin to notice 
one another after a time. After a still longer time the birds fall 
in love and mate. People, like birds, are attracted to those with 
whom they are associated in work, play, worship, or any shared 
activity. The first condition for the growth of friendship is for 
persons to be together. 

The second phase of the development is mutual interest. One 
may be interested in the other without any corresponding mutual 
attitude, in which case there is no friendship. Both may be inter- 
ested in the same project, cause, or pursuit which could very 
well be a basis for mutuality of affection, but no friendship ever 
develops. The prerequisite for the growth of interrelation is for 
each one to become interested in the other. Spurious friendships 
may grow in cases where one pretends interest for some egoistic 
reason, but the tests of time and experience soon reveal their 
ersatz nature. 

Enthusiasm is the third stage in the growth of human mutu- 
ality. The new sweetheart, the new boss, the new colleague, the 
new acquaintance is the most wonderful person in the world. 
Such honorific appraisal is definitely the tertiary phase of a grow- 
ing friendship. There is a warm glow of appreciation and a sort 



169 



of exhilaration in the presence of the new object of interest. Even 
the places he goes, or the things he loves or admires take on new 
meaning. The enthusiasm frequently results in a desire to spend 
time with him, or in an inclination to consult him. Unfortunately, 
many relations are destroyed in this phase by overeagerness. 

Hard on the heels of enthusiasm comes irritation which is the 
inevitable consequence of people learning about one another. 
One's inner images of what the other person is and feels are al- 
most always inadequate. When the new friend turns out to be 
something very different from the first impression, he becomes 
an object of disappointment, irritation, or downright blame. 
Sweethearts part forever in this fourth phase unless they have 
some deeper tendrils of the heart to hold thern together. When 
people recognize the differences which were fluffed over or at 
first ignored disillusionment follows hard upon realization. This 
testing time of finding out about each other comes to intergroup 
as well as interpersonal relationships. True friendship comes only 
to those who find out about one another, but still love. 

The fifth phase is forbearance. When newlyweds realize that 
the honeymoon is over and each sees some unexpected and dis- 
appointing qualities in the other, then must come mutual tolera- 
tion or tragedy. Perhaps the new business partners have learned 
the worst about one another. They must either accept things as 
they are, or break up the partnership. The time for patience with 
one another is just at this point. Considerable candor in a context 
of patient mutual regard is possible. Often the tendency is to al- 
low resentment to replace earlier enthusiasm. Persons, nations, 
races, and groups are different. This fact should be recognized 
and adjustments made accordingly. Mutual forbearance is the 
basis for peace. 

The sixth and final phase of a growing friendship is under- 
standing. If the two parties can stay together long enough and 
patiently enough to permit understanding to heal irritation, there 
can be the blessed reward of a firmly rooted and storm-resistant 
organic intertwining. In this stage each person loves his neighbor 
for his neighbor's sake, and seeks his development in terms of the 



170 



natural inclination of his nature instead of selfishly trying to 
force the neighbor to fit the specifications of his preference. This 
is hard for everyone. Each loves himself, but finds it difficult to 
love his neighbor as himself. Only as man recognizes that he is 
involved in others can the brotherhood of man obtain. Under- 
standing is a profound word which refers to a still more cherished 
attitude. 

An honest review of the factors involved in friendship will re- 
veal the fact that friendships may be broken at any time. Pascal 
once remarked that if every person knew what his friend said 
about him in his absence there would not be four friends left in 
all the world. Each one at times repels others by his unconscious 
mannerisms, voice, tones, habits of speech, behavior, and such 
but these qualities are all subject to analysis and modification. 
Friends are never lost while they are worthy of one another. 
Understanding will cover a multitude of idiosyncrasies. 

The joy of fellowship awaits any person who can aspire to 
give love rather than merely receive it. A reasonable degree of 
popularity can be achieved by anyone. In a world as lonely as 
ours there is nothing more desirable than radiant friendliness 
and nothing more obtainable. In James Hilton's charming story 
the grumpy and insecure Mr. Chipping became the loved and 
honored Mr. Chips because of the vision inspired in him by the 
friendship and love of a woman. When one takes stock of his 
capacity for friendship and analyzes his situation with reference 
to his achievements and tendencies, he can readily appreciate 
the tremendous possibilities of his own life. The Mr. Chips he 
could become transforms the self-centered Mr. Chipping. 

Unfortunately many potential radiant personalities are 
blighted by preoccupation with their shortcomings and feelings 
of inferiority until the possible person is never actualized. They 
are like the ugly duckling who was mistreated by the barnyard 
fowls until he ran away, frustrated and lonely. His feet were 
so big and his gait was so awkward that he could not endure 
himself. The ridicule of the chickens and ducks was justified. 
Out in the reeds alone he brooded until he saw a beautiful 



171 



swan. Here was the perfect personality. But instead of inspira- 
tion this stately creature only emphasized the misery of the ugly 
duckling. He ran away from his ideal and watched from a dis- 
tance with some resentful envy and much fear and self-blame. 
One day the swan came upon him by surprise. In his confusion 
he could not fly. He braced himself for the usual blast of mis- 
treatment, only to stand amazed in the presence of kindly ac- 
ceptance. He glanced down to see his own image — that of a 
beautiful swan. Hans Christian Andersen knew people when he 
wrote of swans. He draws a picture of a person longing to be 
lovely and loved, successful and honored, yet afraid to have vi- 
sion. Unfortunately, not every ugly duckling has the right genes 
and chromosomes to become the paragon of loveliness which 
glimmers as being possible, but every person can become a 
worthy and attractive child of God. He can be friend to the 
friendless and a benefactor of human happiness. It is just as 
immoral to take happiness without giving it as it is to be a 
parasite in regard to money. 

Four things are required of the person who would become 
radiant and appealing as a true friend. He must love himself 
enough to realize his best possible self. He must "love his neigh- 
bor as himself." He must provide the conditions for friendship 
to grow, and he must extend the community of his concerns. 
The person who loves himself wisely, and his neighbor as him- 
self, is already a transforming influence for a peaceful and 
brotherly world. The specific program by which he can attain 
this ideal is the present problem. An elaboration of this four- 
point program has enabled many persons to enter the glorious 
company of the friendly. It seems paradoxical to say that people 
must learn how to live apart if they are to learn how to live 
together. Emerson wrote to the issue when he said the pre- 
requisite to having friends is the ability to get along without 
them. A person must occasionally be alone if he is to enter cre- 
atively into the fellowship of other people when they are to- 
gether. Before personalities can merge into mutuality, each must 
have qualities worthy of the merger. The union of impoverished 
personalities is more a defense than a friendship. Self-realization, 

172 



therefore, is the essential ingredient for happy and rewarding 
friendship. Life is far too short to permit complete self-attain- 
ment, but relative improvement is a day-by-day opportunity. The 
enriched personality, the developed mind, the varied interests, 
the growing sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others, the 
response to beauty, and the ability to achieve are all part of the 
process. The paradox obtains — to live together we must live 
apart. 

Let him who wants friends be with people. There is no other 
way. The hermit who believes he can love God and humanity 
better in absolute solitude deceives himself. The alternation be- 
tween solitude and fellowship is fruitful, but complete solitude 
means failure. The deep yearning for companionship appears 
everywhere. Saroyan's pathetic little figure Lionel, in The Hu- 
man Comedy, who stood in line at the motion picture, is illus- 
trative. A friend said, "Going to the movies, Lionel?" "No, I 
don't have any ticket — I'm just standing in line because I'm 
lonely." A person can no more have friends without being with 
people than a person can learn to swim without going in the 
water. 

Optimum conditions must be provided for friendship to grow. 
Even God cannot unite those who do not do their part. The 
growth of friendship is much more complicated than that of 
roses, redwoods, or even puppies. It deals with the tender fila- 
ments and tendrils of the human heart. Yet the program for nur- 
ture is just as trustworthy as the culture section of a seed cata- 
logue for roses. 

One must be able to get outside oneself enough to appreciate 
the other person's viewpoint. Other-regarding interests are ab- 
solutely essential to friendship. The child develops when he plays 
what the other child prefers or when he delights in the pleasure 
his toy brings to his little playmate. The congressman grows 
when he discovers that his opponent on his favorite measure also 
has private ideals and a public constituency. It is instructive to 
look at the world through another pair of eyes, or feel joy and 
pain in another heart. 

To take the initiative in giving pleasure is to follow Jesus in 

173 



his command to love one's enemies. This he set for the indi- 
vidual's own good rather than the good of the enemies. Edwin 
Markham is perhaps more loved and remembered for his little 
quatrain, "Outwitted," than for all his other poetry combined. 

He drew a circle that shut me out — 
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. 
But Love and I had the wit to win : 
We drew a circle that took him in. 2 

The grace to take the initiative in being kind to the person who 
responds with ingratitude, or even resentment, is truly heroic, 
but it is the sort of heroism that every parent knows. The parent 
loves and helps the rebellious little child with infinite tender for- 
giveness and redeeming love. Human relations demand coura- 
geous love. 

Gratitude for kindness shown is the most ennobling of emotions 
The person who always suspects the motives of anyone who does 
him a favor deserves to be denied the happiness of great mutual 
fellowship. 

A common enterprise of work, play, or other enjoyment which 
involves sharing is essential to friendship. David and Jonathan 
were joined in an unshakable companionship because of con- 
genial interests and mutual pursuits. The noteworthy friendships 
of history tell the story of work, play, and laughter together. 
Huge, tough football players often weep brokenheartedly when 
they have to part at the end of a season. The team spirit is the 
basis for patriotism and loyalty to a community organization or 
movement. The people who work together in an industry might 
very well consider that they are all part of the same team of 
producers instead of competing teams of labor, management, and 
ownership. The happiness of a local community is greatly height- 
ened by some common ventures that develop friendship. 

Finally, friendship entails devotion to some object, cause, in- 
terest, or concern beyond the persons involved. Two people who 

2 Reprinted by permission of Virgil Markham. 



174 



look only at each other cannot be friends. When they look to- 
gether at a rose golden sunset, or listen together to a matchless 
symphony their spirits can blend into 

Two souls with but a single thought, 
Two hearts that beat as one. 

Jesus told the inquiring lawyers that the first commandment was 
to love God; the second to love one's neighbor. The order con- 
forms to the relentless facts of experience. The love of God who 
is above, beyond, and transcends human abilities and affections 
is the final ground for human love. Self-centered love is merely 
specious; other-person-centered love is inadequate and insecure. 
God-centered love is alone the basis for friendship between per- 
sons, groups, or nations. 

A person may develop his own abilities until he is worthy of 
friends, he may be with people and provide the conditions for 
friendship to grow, and still fail at the most important venture 
of making the universe friendlier. The one thing he lacks is the 
responsibility to extend community. In the Sermon on the Mount 
the injunction is " 'Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.' " 
The great scourge of our times is the new power of man to split 
the atom of human egocentricity by a chain reaction of cliches 
and propaganda in such a way that man's inclination to sociality 
becomes terrifying in some pressure group or inimical ideology. 
The inescapable responsibility of every person who is general 
manager of his own life is to keep himself and his companions 
forever loyal to the kingdom of God for all mankind, rather than 
the idolatrous loyalty to some segment, group, or interest. 

The apostle of friendship has the boundless love of God as 
his unfailing source of power and inspiration. "God is love, and 
he who abides in love abides in God." Every case of worthy love 
is a case of God at work. Even the short-circuited love in human 
relations is a godly impulse misused. In every human heart there 
is the compulsive inclination to love and be loved. This universal 
gift of God to the world is the basis of family, friendship, and 
human brotherhood. One can be absolutely certain when he sees 



175 



a human being that there is one who has a deep desire to give 
and receive affection. Every human being, therefore, is a poten- 
tial friend. The difficulty of nurture may be very great; but, 
nevertheless, there is the yearning heart in every beast no matter 
how churlish his defensive and egocentric attitudes may make 
him appear. 

Out of the need for one another have grown the great com- 
munities of history. The Hebrew-Christian tradition which mani- 
fests itself in the church is the most persistent community of love 
and good will. Through centuries and eras the organic unity of 
the "vine and branches" has continued. Thwarted by sectarian- 
ism, buffeted by brutality and war, corrupted by lust for power, 
persecuted by rival claims but forever undismayed, the church 
has advanced. God has given man a great resource for redemp- 
tive friendship in the blessed community called "the church." 

Not only in and from God, in the church, and in every human 
heart are resources for fellowship, but also in the matchless 
demonstration of how the love of God can transform people. 
Twelve men were chosen to be companions of Jesus Christ. They 
were plain men with starved passions and twisted attitudes. They 
were selfish and egocentric. Yet when they began working to- 
gether with this strange new teacher they began to trust one an- 
other genuinely. They lost their competitive desire to dominate 
one another, and their natural defensiveness seemed suddenly 
ridiculous. When the Master was away from them, however, the 
old attitudes reasserted themselves. They began to argue about 
who would be greatest, and to vie for prestige in the new move- 
ment. The physical presence of this trusted leader renewed their 
marvelous mutual trust which had transformed each man and 
sensitized him to a vaster world with more cherished values and 
deeper meaning. Then came the terrible shock of the crucifixion. 
Their hope was gone. Fear and darkness possessed their lives. 
The most dreaded misfortune had fallen on them, leaving only 
desolation and forlorn regret. Then came the resurrection. The 
companionship of laughter, love, and mutual trust, which began 
along the Sea of Galilee and in the Syrian hills, began to return. 



176 



Their vision of a redeemed world once more compelled their ut- 
most devotion. They heard the last earthly word of Christ spoken 
not from a cross, but in a final charge to his followers: "Lo, I 
am with you always, to the close of the age." They could go on 
loving, trusting, and changing the world without the physical 
presence of their Lord since his spiritual presence was forever 
with them. They met together in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit 
came upon them with power. Then the Day of Pentecost when 
the Church was born had fully come. The gospel of friendship 
was set forth in the life, fellowship, sacrificial love of the cross, 
and triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ. They knew by then 
the meaning of that new commandment that they must love one 
another. They could not keep silent. They gave witness to the 
multitudes until a veritable contagion of Christian love swept 
the ancient world. This gospel of love is today's hope for laughter 
and the love of friends. 

Friendship means that man must be changed. Pride must fall. 
Old loyalties must be cut down. Old habits must be rooted out. 
The plowshares of God must run through each life before one 
can enter into the deeper fellowship of love. To be a friend of 
God and man involves great risks. 

The power to perform comes with the venture. The lonely 
girl at the party who takes the initiative in trying to help the 
wallflowers have a good time may meet some rebuffs, but soon 
enough she will lose her fear in giving attention to those who 
need her friendship. In a lonely world there are myriads of peo- 
ple waiting for a friendly hand. The invitation to enter into fel- 
lowship is world-wide. 

The person who gives up the struggle of pretense and self- 
defense long enough to give God a chance to take over will find 
himself changed. Instead of grasping at his life he will give it 
away in friendly fellowship. His personality will become vastly 
more appealing. Carlyle once said, "Make yourself an honest 
man, and then you may be sure there is one less scoundrel in the 
world." Be cheerful and there will be one less sourpuss. The great 
transformation awaits the person who yields himself to the 
friendly community. 

177 



12 BEYOND THE 

SHADOWS 



In spite of the well-recognized fact that death is universal and 
undebatable, nobody is ever quite ready to face the death of one 
near him or to face the fact of his own inevitable dissolution. 
Man has forever sought some disguise for death in order to 
render this simple eventuality less terrifying. The art symbols of 
the old reaper, the angel forms that adorn the aging stones in 
cemeteries, the euphemisms of "departed," "passed away," "gone 
home," "fallen asleep," or "gone to rest" are all efforts to ease 
the shock of inescapable death. Paul was much more direct when 
he referred to death as "the last enemy of man." 

Human experience keeps one ever mindful of the fact that 
death and grief come to each family. Grief brings strange and 
mysterious emotions to people. A person may feel that in the 
death of a loved one a part of himself has died. The nature of 
mutual love justifies this feeling. A person becomes so closely 
identified with a spouse, for example, that his feelings of joy, 
pain, success, failure, happiness, or discouragement are in rela- 
tion to his mate. He actually feels his or her joy or sorrow. Sud- 
den removal of the intertwined personality by death is compara- 
ble to the removal of part of one's own organism. A person who 
undergoes an amputation may still feel pain, heat, or cold, in 
his removed arm. The survivor may continue to feel the pain or 
grief in his counterpart even though there is no physical presence 



178 



to give and receive love. The poignant grief related to this sensa- 
tion can bring desolation which can find no specific cure since 
the physical presence of the warm and precious, vital personality 
is gone. The love which has been born of mutual interests and 
experiences knows no continued satisfaction. The sad words "it 
might have been" continue to haunt the meditations and re- 
flections. These feelings leave death hard to accept. There is the 
tragic reality of only part of a person left to grope his way out of 
the valley of shadows. 

The survivor may feel left behind. A child who loses his par- 
ent may feel he has been abandoned. A sense of worthlessness 
or inferiority may lead one to feel that the loved one was justi- 
fied in leaving. Argument is not effective with such powerful 
emotion. Even a mature person may feel somewhat abandoned. 
He may feel partially responsible for the death of the loved one 
on account of his inner sense of worthlessness or guilt. There may 
be blame in the expression "left behind." The sensation of being 
deserted can be hard to bear. Pure reason can see the foolishness 
of the feelings, but it cannot dispel them. An older person may 
have become so dependent on a mate that survival demands a 
complete reorientation of attitudes and patterns of behavior. 
When considerable financial or prestige advantage is lost in the 
death of one who is very dear, the combination of outer and 
inner loss may combine to make the problem almost unbearable. 

The loss of opportunity to give and receive love is perhaps the 
most universal and persistent factor in grief. This feeling usually 
predominates in a parent who loses a son or daughter. It is the 
major problem for a husband or wife in the loss of a cherished 
mate. If the deceased has been ill for some time, the survivor 
may have developed a deep satisfaction in caring for him. With 
each attention the love feelings have deepened. When the op- 
portunities to express that love and receive the grateful love in 
return are gone, the sense of frustration and uselessness is dev- 
astating. Sudden death may bring an even greater shock. The 
painful rupture of the interaction of love brings confusion and 
bewilderment along with frustration. The hunger for physical 



179 



expressions of love between a husband and wife may provide a 
biological basis for the sorrow of bereavement. The unexpressed 
love is cumulative in the personality and its pressure may bring 
on complications. 

Loneliness which can anticipate the return of a dear one can 
be borne, but loneliness which can expect no relief brings over- 
powering heartache. A Chinese girl captured the emotion in 
her poem which contains the line 

I weep, but you do not know that I weep. 
The groping personality reaches out for hands that are not 
there. Every little object associated with the deceased brings 
on a new wave of desolation. Well-meaning friends do their 
best to help, but cannot quite meet the need since it is centered 
in a unique personality which can no longer respond. An un- 
discerning person may add to the problem by unintentionally 
giving the impression to the bereft individual that his behavior 
is a little odd. This deepens the feeling of isolation. The fact 
that the world goes on for everyone else in apparent disregard 
of the death of one who was a center in the sorrowing person's 
universe adds to the lonely feelings. The prospect of a future 
without the cherished person to share it brings its own addi- 
tional kind of lonely reactions. 

A sense of guilt frequently accompanies sorrow. Thoughts of 
the kindnesses that might have been shown, but were not, and 
memories of cruel words or deeds well up like a tidal wave. 
These guilt feelings may prompt one to feel responsible for the 
death — almost like a murderer. The voice of reason, again, can 
reassure but the emotional fear and regret persist. Almost every- 
one has moments of irritation and resentment in relation to 
even the most cherished member of a family. These moods may 
provoke secret fleeting wishes for the death of the offender. 
These ephemeral hostile feelings belong to the jungle, and 
should be viewed as normal even though it is expedient to over- 
come them with love. If, however, the actual death of the loved 
one occurs when these death wishes are fresh in one's memory, 
the sense of guilt may be extremely great. A person's supersti- 



180 



tions may make him feel that the wish caused the death. Even 
the person who has entertained no hostile feelings toward the 
deceased will sift through his memory for the things which 
might have been different — he feels guilty of neglect, selfish- 
ness, unkindness, disloyalty, or mistakes. "If I could only make 
amends" is a common cry in a time of grief. 

The security of a person is severely shaken by the death of 
someone very near to him. The frantic question in the mind of a 
person who has lost a parent or mate may be "What will 
happen to me now?" Fear of the future may reinforce the grief 
emotions to an extent that threatens control. The child, particu- 
larly, may be terrified with the prospect of life without the 
parent who has been the anchor of security in the storms of 
childhood experience. A wife may feel that she has lost both 
status and economic security in the death of her husband. An 
aged person may feel helpless without the consolation of a life- 
time companion. A person learns from experience that the fear 
of impending disaster is generally out of proportion to the 
actual danger, but, nevertheless, the uneasiness that everything 
is ruined haunts the interior thoughts of one in sorrow. Fear 
coupled with the other emotions of grief can be a very grim 
combination. A few cannot bear it without drastic help; the 
rest manage with considerable inner difficulty. 

Sorrow may bring a resentful and angry response. The in- 
justice of the death of someone young, useful, and dearly loved, 
while life goes on for other people apparently less worthy, seems 
ground enough for a person who is under the stress of grief to 
shake his fist at the sky. He may blame God for the death of his 
loved one. He may curse fate or try to renounce the whole 
world. He may curse the doctors, or blame somebody connected 
with the cherished person for having contributed to the death. 
He may even be angry with the person for dying as if his death 
were some sort of unjust personal affront. Bitterness over the 
loss of someone precious is not at all uncommon. It may take 
the form of refusal to go to church, refusal to see friends, escape 
into drink, or any one of a variety of possible reactions. This 



181 



bitterness must be disciplined in the same fashion as any other 
hostility. It is, however, more difficult on account of the sepa- 
ration which forbids the presence and influence of the deceased. 
Hostility is almost always unbecoming, but it is even less attrac- 
tive in a bereft person who is expected to meet the tragic loss 
with humility and love. The bitter person slams the door of his 
heart in the face of God. 

The self-centered person will cry out, "Why did this happen 
to me?" The implication is that Almighty God has taken the 
life of a dear one as a kind of intended insult. No person seems 
egocentric to himself. Yet the enlightened observer will detect 
at once the egocentric nature of the question, "Why did this 
happen to me?" The obvious answer is that it did not happen 
to the complaining survivor. It happened to the person who 
met death. The fact that everyone must die seems to have no 
persuasive answer for the person who feels that he is singled 
out and put upon by the whole universe, including God who 
is his Creator and Sustainer. In a world of natural law and free 
human will there are eventualities of which death is chief. A 
person who has enough objectivity to look about him sees that 
death comes to all persons without any regard for function, 
station, or morality. The emotion of self-pity, however, is very 
real and must be handled. To tell a person in grief that he is 
giving way to self-pity may serve only to add anger to the 
problem of grief. 

These and other patterns of sorrow may come in any com- 
bination. When several emotional complications contribute to 
the sense of loss, there is still more challenge to the grief-beset 
person. He may find it difficult to face the issue at all. The 
expert counsel of a specialist is required for such a situation. 
The management of sorrow for those who have enough re- 
sources and courage to meet the challenge involves a set of 
attitudes and procedures with an underlying faith in the ulti- 
mate decency of the universe under God. A few practical sug- 
gestions on the management of grief may prove helpful. The 
person who has honestly faced the possibility is somewhat better 



182 



prepared to meet the eventuality. An understanding of how 
other people have mastered sorrow can be a benign and miti- 
gating influence when sorrow comes, as come it will. 

DEATH CAN BE FACED 

The fact that death has been faced successfully by billions 
of people in the course of rolling centuries is convincing evi- 
dence that it can be faced successfully today. There is nothing 
morbid in the frank recognition of the fact that man is mortal. 
A little bit of forethought with reference to eventual death 
makes the experience easier for everyone concerned. A young 
woman who objected to the words in her marriage vows "Until 
death do us part" had no reasonable ground to stand on. No 
appraisal of life is realistic unless the fact of death is considered. 
This is no mood of doom; it is a clear-eyed recognition of fact 
which is important in the conduct of life. 

One's own death may be easier to face than the death of 
someone who is very dearly loved. Both eventualities, however, 
require some advance attention. For oneself the problem is 
simple. After it is over, there is no problem — the future is in 
the hands of God. A person should set his affairs in order as 
best he can, meet life as it comes with a reasonable expectancy 
and an acceptance of rest when the long day ends. Every person 
who owns property should make a will which provides for a 
worthy and honorable distribution of his goods. It is unfair 
to everyone most concerned for a person to leave his financial 
affairs in unnecessary confusion. The time to give attention to 
arrangements for death is in the clear-eyed security of health 
and strength. It is cowardly for one to refuse to make such 
provision on the grounds that he does not wish to think about 
death. 

With regard to the mental attitude toward one's own death 
there is very little to say since the time and manner is beyond 
the voluntary control for all except suicides. Suffice it to observe 
that death can be friend as well as enemy. Illness or old age 



183 



has its own way of preparing one for the eventualities. To love 
life and meet it with zest to the end, and to face death with 
the confidence that God takes control is enough. Browning 
voiced the strong man's attitude in his Prospice. 

Fear death? — to feel the fog in my throat, 

The mist in my face, 
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote 

I am nearing the place, 
The power of the night, the press of the storm, 

The post of the foe ; 
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form, 

Yet the strong man must go : 
For the journey is done and the summit attained, 

And the barriers fall, 
Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained, 

The reward of it all. 
I was ever a fighter, so — one fight more, 

The best and the last! 
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore, 

And bade me creep past. 
No ! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers 

The heroes of old, 
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears 

Of pain, darkness and cold. 
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave, 

The black minute's at end, 
And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave, 

Shall dwindle, shall blend, 
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain, 

Then a light, then thy breast. 
O thou soul of my soul ! I shall clasp thee again, 

And with God be the rest ! 

To face the death of a parent in childhood or the death of a 
mate or the death of a child is much more difficult. The first 
step is to accept it as an inevitable and irrevocable fact. This 



184 



may require a little time since the human emotions cling to 
deep desires and fond hopes with stubborn tenacity. Some 
people go for days without full acceptance of a loved one's 
death, but the hard truth drives the facts home in time so that 
there is no mistake. When death comes, it must be accepted, 
and the more quickly the heart recognizes the conclusive situa- 
tion, the more quickly the knees can find 

The great world's altar stairs 

That slope through darkness up to God. 

The second step in facing grief is to think of the loved one 
instead of one's own grief. Self-pity is a grim enemy that 
hampers recovery and defeats its own purpose. To forget one's 
own plight is easier for the person who has other members of 
the family to care for and love; hard work and responsibility 
help. Difficult as it is, however, a person can find no balm in 
Gilead until he forgets himself in loving and providing for 
others. 

The situation appears in a different light when a person 
considers the joy of fellowship which the life of the loved one 
afforded. Death is not as great a mystery as life. In light of 
the many contingencies of the world it is remarkable and won- 
derful that this cherished and dear person lived at all and for 
so long a time. What person has not been often in danger from 
disease, accident, organic failure, or some other cause? When 
one ponders the amazing fact that anyone is alive, he can give 
thanks. Death is normal — life is the phenomenon to provoke 
wonder. The loved one has lived and made a contribution to 
the world which no one else could make. This is the glory 
which relieves the sting. 

To be sure, any worthy and dearly loved life seems too short. 
Still, who can argue that a long life is necessarily better than 
a short one. Quality outranks quantity in the measure of a life. 
Methuselah had precious little to show for his record of lon- 
gevity. A few vital years can mean more to man and God than 
rolling decades of mere existence. Jesus himself had accom- 
plished the greatest mission by his early thirties when the cruelty 



185 



of man nailed his strong young body to a cross. Even the tiny 
organism which can live only a few months can inspire the 
deep love in a parent's heart. The mission of a lifetime is ac- 
complished when death claims it. The survivor has no right to 
depreciate the value and accomplishment of that life in con- 
sideration for what might have been achieved in the future. 

True love is willing to relinquish its object when death leaves 
no alternative. The love which clings with desperation is cor- 
rupted by self-love. What appears to be love of a dear one is 
actually love of what that person inspired in, or meant to, the 
survivor. The separation means pain and sorrow, but the gen- 
erous person relinquishes to God what is lost to the human 
relationship. Love implies freedom for the beloved. Possessive- 
ness is a phony version of love. A person has a right to the free- 
dom and dignity of death. Those who precede us into God's 
unknown are perhaps more fortunate. The healing meaning of 
this attitude is admirably expressed in the words: 

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old ; 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, 
We will remember them. 1 

— Lawrence Binyon 

THE MANAGEMENT OF GRIEF 

The unrestrained expression of sincere grief is the first step 
on the long slow road that leads out beyond the valley of the 
shadows. Adult tears are honorable. The repression brought 
on by the efforts of parents and siblings to dissuade the growing 
child from crying when he has something to cry about is con- 
tributory to much unnecessary suffering. Instead of saying, "He 
cried like a baby," it would be more accurate under certain 
circumstances to say: "He cried like a man." I have seen a 

1 From "They Shall Not Grow Old." Reprinted by permission of The Society of 
Authors and Mrs. Cicely Binyon. 



186 



hard-bitten Marine Corps general sob with no inhibitions at 
the death of his son. This is as it should be. Honesty requires 
the expression of as much grief as one really feels — emotional 
health absolutely demands it. The well-meaning friends who do 
everything possible to keep the bereft from tears are injuring 
the persons they are trying to help. The minister who creates 
an atmosphere in a home or at a memorial service which at- 
taches social disapproval to tears hampers the recovery of the 
sorrowing. When tears well up within the heart, it is best to 
let them out. Otherwise the grief will return in sleepless anx- 
ieties weeks later. 

The person who has learned from childhood to suppress his 
tears may stumble at this first step. Many people can't cry. 
The conditioning of society has dammed the spillways of the 
soul. For such persons the problem of finding free expression 
requires resourcefulness. Praying aloud in the privacy of one's 
inner chamber can help, for here he can express to God what 
he cannot share with his fellows. Weeping in private may be 
possible for the conditioned person, providing his self-disap- 
proval does not add shame to grief. Great music which speaks 
grief may help. The symbolic rendering of grief in great poetry 
or on canvas can bring vicarious relief. Some of the truly re- 
markable literature of mankind is elegiac in nature. In 
Memoriam of Tennyson, Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the 
Dooryard Bloom'd" or the lofty psalms of Lamentation are 
illustrative. Egil Skallagrimsson of Iceland, whose Saga was 
written about 1230, would have committed suicide on account 
of the unmanageable grief at the death of his son had he not 
written the poem Sonartonek which saved his life and blest 
mankind. 

The second principle in the mastery of sorrow is to talk about 
the departed person. There is no greater mistake than to avoid 
all mention of the dead in an effort to forget. The emotions 
will not be silenced. The conversations with reference to ac- 
complishments, characteristics, tastes, ways, deeds, and experi- 
ences tend to bring a continuing relationship with the person. 



187 



The satisfaction derived from such discussion is useful both as 
a means of expressing one's love and as a way of giving relief 
to the pent-up emotions of grief. When a person is mentioned, 
he is definitely present in the minds and interests of the people 
involved. It is a way of honoring the dead and continuing his 
influence. The sorrowing parent or widow need not be a bore. 
There are always friends and relatives who will find comparable 
consolation in the exchange of experience and sharing of in- 
sights. The conversation can be guided to items of general inter- 
est instead of a monologue of self-centered drivel. 

The third step in victory over grief is to find new and crea- 
tive ways to express the love which was formerly lavished on the 
deceased. The college halls and hospitals that have arisen as an 
expression of love for a departed son or daughter are testimony to 
the fact that sorrow can serve the good of mankind. Some of the 
ablest kindergarten teachers entered the field upon the death of 
their child. The love that could no longer reach the child became 
the wider love which reached hundreds of other children. Bishop 
Grundtvig who founded the folk schools in Denmark was in- 
spired to his noble work by tragic grief. He said, "What I have 
lost outwardly, I have gained inwardly." It might also be said 
that what he suffered inwardly found a noble outward expres- 
sion which brought self-realization to a multitude of children. 

The fourth step out of the valley of shadows is somewhat more 
personal. It pertains to the rich enjoyment of the private, pre- 
cious memories. The lingering meanings of shared adventure 
or heroic defeat, the bright holidays, the tender moments of 
consecration when deep answered deep, bright days and shim- 
mering nights all become a tapestry of recollection which lasts 
forever. Nothing can destroy such memories. The dear one is 
beyond the reach of human tragedy. Such meditations bring 
a sort of mysterious inner renewal which brightens all future 
days like a white moon at midnight. The range of the mind can 
allow companionship in the repeated journeys and the re-en- 
acted moments of dramatic ecstasy. A young father who is 
experiencing the new relations of rearing his son may find great 



188 



companionship with his own father who is now dead. He may 
love and understand him better than he could when his father 
was present but the common experience was lacking. The linger- 
ing star of inner communion is a lodestar out of the shadowed 
valley. 

The fifth step in handling grief is to bring comfort to other 
people who are in sorrow. None but the lonely heart can ade- 
quately minister to the lonely heart with understanding. The 
companionship of gold-star mothers during the war shows what 
healing power there is in shared grief. A person is unaware of 
the multitude who carry burdens of sorrow until he faces the 
experience himself. Then he finds the evidence of grief on every 
hand. As he reaches out to help someone else, he finds consola- 
tion for his own bereavement. The same principle operates here 
as in the case of a person who learns best when he tries to teach 
others. The therapeutic value of genuine outreach to comfort 
those who mourn is the unexpected benefit of service. This is 
perhaps close to the meaning of the beatitude of Christ: 
" 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.' " 

The comfort of faith is the underlying principle in victory 
over sorrow. The test of one's religious convictions comes when 
he hears the bell toll. No matter how many times a person has 
read the great affirmations of the Bible, he does not fully face 
the doctrine of immortal life until he hears the words of Christ, 
"I am the resurrection and the life," spoken at a graveside. 
Belief in immortality can be a merely intellectual operation 
which does not meet the shock of emotional involvement in 
grief. Faith is more than intellectual assent. It is a commitment 
which involves will and feelings as well as ideas. It finally finds 
expression in attitudes and actions. The Christian doctrine of 
immortality means conviction that this dear one lives on, not 
only in memory and human awareness, but also in the presence 
of God who is above and beyond history. Faith in this doctrine 
is the basis for hope beyond the grave and comfort for those 
who mourn. It is inseparable from complete faith in God, and is 
perhaps best illustrated by the simple story of a little boy who 



189 



was traveling on a great West-bound transcontinental train. 
His family was moving to California. Restless from inactivity 
he began to wander down the aisle of the coach. A kindly 
man caught the lad's attention and took the little boy on his 
lap. His first question was, "Where are you going, young man?" 
"Out West" said the child. "Where out West?" "I don't know." 
"You are a great one — going out West and don't know where 
you are going." "Well, I don't know, but my father knows." 
Each one of us is going out West. Faith that our heavenly 
Father knows where we are going is enough. The great com- 
mitments of life are elemental and childlike. 

There is a deliberate wisdom in sorrow which is certain to 
triumph in time. The interminable days and weeks after death 
visits a home are not without meaning. The harvest of humility 
and understanding will carry the thoughtful person through the 
longest winter of the soul. He comes to realize that life is short. 
This brings a reconstruction of values with the result that many 
egocentric passions lose their strangle hold. He is thrown back 
on such ultimate resources that he must thereafter find more 
confidence in God and less in himself and other mortals. He is 
literally sadder and wiser. 

Grief which has been met with courage brings with its slow 
gift of wisdom a certain detachment from the immediate cares 
and concerns of life. The mourner learns the hard lesson of 
Goethe's Faust. He can no longer say to any part of life, "Ah, 
stay! Thou art so fair!" After many weeks he discovers that fife 
goes on and that his loved one continues with him in a new and 
different relationship. He adjusts to a different world. He is 
perpetually astonished at the kindness and thoughtfulness of 
other people who have learned to climb the steep and long 
trail that winds its lonely and thorny way up out of the valley 
of shadows to the other side where the sun is shining and the 
road widens out into a thousand tomorrows. 

The mellow words of the Twenty-third Psalm are unequaled 
for comfort. 



190 



Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death, 

I fear no evil; 
for thou art with me; 

thy rod and thy staff, 

they comfort me. 

One's faith in God is unshakeable after the tragic testing. The 
confidence of Jesus' great affirmation "Because I live, you will 
live also" becomes more than a hope. It becomes a vital reality 
which gives victory over death. 



191 




PERRY E. GRESHAM, a distinguished 
educator, has served as president of Bethany 
College, Bethany, West Virginia, since 1953. 

He is president of the International Con- 
vention of Christian Churches for I960- 1961, 
and a member of the study commission on 
Faith and Order of the World Council of 
Churches. 

Dr. Gresham is a prominent member of 
the Author's Club of London. He wrote 
the books: Disciplines of the High Calling, 
Incipient Gnosticism in the New Testament, 
and is editor and coauthor of The Sage of 
Bethany. His articles and poems have 
appeared in leading journals published in 
America and abroad. 



JACKET DESIGN BY 
DOROTHY M. SAPPINGTON 



BETHANY PRESS 

St. Louis, Mo. 



These forceful, hard-hitting chapters are addressed 
directly to every thoughtful Christian by a great con- 
temporary philosopher, writing with competence and 
authority: 



THE POWER OF AN IDEA 

GENERAL MANAGER OF YOUR 
OWN LIFE 

AN UNSHAKABLE FAITH 

THE DISCIPLINE OF EMOTIONS 

WITH THE WHOLE MIND 

GOOD FRUITS FROM EVIL ROOTS 

EAT, SLEEP, AND BE HAPPY 

THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE 

WITHIN MY EARTHLY TEMPLE 

BLUNDERING INTO BLISS 

LAUGHTER AND THE LOVE OF 
FRIENDS 

BEYOND THE SHADOWS 



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